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Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret

Céleste Albaret was Marcel Proust's housekeeper in his last years, when he retreated from the world to devote himself to In Search of Lost Time. She could imitate his voice to perfection, and Proust himself said to her, "You know everything about me." Her reminiscences of her employer present an intimate picture of the daily life of a great writer who was also a deeply peculiar man, while Madame Albaret herself proves to be a shrewd and engaging companion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590170595
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 09/28/2003
Series: NYRB Classics Series
Pages: 456
Sales rank: 1,267,645
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Céleste Albaret (1892-1984) was born into a peasant family in the mountainous region of Lozère, France. In 1913, she married Odilon Albaret, a Parisian chauffeur, whose clients included Marcel Proust. Odilon suggested that his new wife, who was lonely in the big city and at a loss for something to do, run errands for Proust, and before long Céleste found herself employed as the writer’s full-time (indeed round-the-clock) housekeeper, secretary, and nurse, filling those roles until his death in 1922. In later years, Céleste ran a small hotel in Paris with her husband and daughter, and after Odilon’s death in 1960, she became the caretaker of the Musée Ravel in the town of Montfort l’Amaury. Monsieur Proust was published in 1972. In recognition of her decade-long service to Proust, Céleste Albaret was made a commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters. She died of emphysema at the age of 92.

Table of Contents

1.A Grand Seigneur1
2.A Cloud of Smoke9
3.And Then the War19
4.The Last Trip to Cabourg27
5.The Life of a Recluse39
6.Retreat into Illness51
7.An Appetite for Memories69
8.An Extreme Modesty81
9.The Dark Nights of Paris91
10.Your Mother Is Dead105
11.His Evenings Out117
12.His Love for His Mother131
13.The Camellia Period145
14.The Family161
15.First Loves173
16."Other" Loves185
18.Tyrannical and Suspicious209
19.Friends but No Friendship223
20.The Pursuit of Characters239
21.Monsieur de Charlus255
22."I've Worked Well, Celeste."267
23.The Rejection281
24.The Fake Monk293
27.The Poulet Quartet327
28."The End"333
29.Time Stops343
AppendixSome Other Souvenirs367

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