25 min

67. Marcel & Celeste, Part II The Land of Desire: French History and Culture

    • History

“Proust n’a aime que deux personnes, sa mere et Celeste.” – Prince Antoine Bibesco



What better way to “celebrate” a year of sheltering in place than a closer look at France’s most famous social distancer? This week, I’m looking at the curious relationship between the eccentric, reclusive writer, Marcel Proust, and his beloved housekeeper-confidant, Céleste Albaret. Together, the two hunkered down into a mostly nocturnal life of writing, collaborating, and remembering while the world outside became incomprehensible. It’s the ultimate experiment in working from home – if your Uber Eats came from the Hotel Ritz, that is! Here’s the conclusion of our two part history of Marcel & Céleste. (Listen to part one here: 66. Marcel & Celeste, Part I.)

Episode 67: “Marcel & Celeste, Part II”













The Bedrooms of Marcel Proust



 



The formidable Céleste Albaret





Farewell, Marcel



 

Sources:

The two biggies:



* Marcel Proust: A Life, William Carter, 2013.

* Monsieur Proust, Celeste Albaret, 2003. (Screw those reviewers, reading this book was a joy, I loved it.)



The rest:



* “Marcel Proust and the medicine of the Belle Epoque” pamphlet, the Royal Society of Medicine: https://www.rsm.ac.uk/media/2060/marcel-proust-exhibition-booklet.pdf

* Lamont, Rosette, and Céleste Albaret. “Interview Avec Céleste Albaret.” The French Review, vol. 44, no. 1, 1970, pp. 15–33. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/385924. Accessed 25 Mar. 2021.

* “In the Footsteps of Marcel Proust” William Friedkin, The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/t-magazine/william-friedkin-marcel-proust.html

* Boym, Svetlana. “Nostalgia and its discontents.” The Hedgehog Review, vol. 9, no. 2, 2007, p. 7+. Gale Academic OneFile, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A168775861/AONE?u=sfpl_main&sid=AONE&xid=9c209110. Accessed 25 Mar. 2021.

* Manley, Janet. “Longing for a Distant Home Amid a Pandemic.” New York Times, 14 Sept. 2020, p. B6(L). Gale Academic OneFile, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A635356510/AONE?u=sfpl_main&sid=AONE&xid=115d21c9. Accessed 25 Mar. 2021.

* “these were the days; OPINION.” Globe & Mail [Toronto, Canada], 11 July 2020, p. O1,O6,O7. Gale Academic OneFile, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A629146415/AONE?u=sfpl_main&sid=AONE&xid=6f8acd35. Accessed 25 Mar. 2021.



Further reading:



* “How I Came to Love My Epic Quarantine Reading Project”, Oliver Munday, The Atlantic, https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/11/reading-proust-in-search-of-lost-time-during-pandemic/616850/

* “Analogue Ambles: Marcel Proust’s Dark Room”, Adam Scovell, February 10 2019, https://www.caughtbytheriver.net/2019/02/marcel-prousts-dark-room/

* Kear, Jon (2007) Une Chambre Mentale: Proust’s Solitude. In: Hendrix, Harald, ed. Writers’ Houses and the Making of Memory. Routledge, New York/Oxon, pp. 221-235. ISBN 978-0-415-95742-7



Subscribe to the newsletter

Want more French history and pop culture in your life? Subscribe to the Land of Desire newsletter. The revamped newsletter comes in two flavors: free and paid. Free subscribers receive one newsletter per quarter; paid subscribers receive at least one newsletter per month. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

“Proust n’a aime que deux personnes, sa mere et Celeste.” – Prince Antoine Bibesco



What better way to “celebrate” a year of sheltering in place than a closer look at France’s most famous social distancer? This week, I’m looking at the curious relationship between the eccentric, reclusive writer, Marcel Proust, and his beloved housekeeper-confidant, Céleste Albaret. Together, the two hunkered down into a mostly nocturnal life of writing, collaborating, and remembering while the world outside became incomprehensible. It’s the ultimate experiment in working from home – if your Uber Eats came from the Hotel Ritz, that is! Here’s the conclusion of our two part history of Marcel & Céleste. (Listen to part one here: 66. Marcel & Celeste, Part I.)

Episode 67: “Marcel & Celeste, Part II”













The Bedrooms of Marcel Proust



 



The formidable Céleste Albaret





Farewell, Marcel



 

Sources:

The two biggies:



* Marcel Proust: A Life, William Carter, 2013.

* Monsieur Proust, Celeste Albaret, 2003. (Screw those reviewers, reading this book was a joy, I loved it.)



The rest:



* “Marcel Proust and the medicine of the Belle Epoque” pamphlet, the Royal Society of Medicine: https://www.rsm.ac.uk/media/2060/marcel-proust-exhibition-booklet.pdf

* Lamont, Rosette, and Céleste Albaret. “Interview Avec Céleste Albaret.” The French Review, vol. 44, no. 1, 1970, pp. 15–33. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/385924. Accessed 25 Mar. 2021.

* “In the Footsteps of Marcel Proust” William Friedkin, The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/t-magazine/william-friedkin-marcel-proust.html

* Boym, Svetlana. “Nostalgia and its discontents.” The Hedgehog Review, vol. 9, no. 2, 2007, p. 7+. Gale Academic OneFile, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A168775861/AONE?u=sfpl_main&sid=AONE&xid=9c209110. Accessed 25 Mar. 2021.

* Manley, Janet. “Longing for a Distant Home Amid a Pandemic.” New York Times, 14 Sept. 2020, p. B6(L). Gale Academic OneFile, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A635356510/AONE?u=sfpl_main&sid=AONE&xid=115d21c9. Accessed 25 Mar. 2021.

* “these were the days; OPINION.” Globe & Mail [Toronto, Canada], 11 July 2020, p. O1,O6,O7. Gale Academic OneFile, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A629146415/AONE?u=sfpl_main&sid=AONE&xid=6f8acd35. Accessed 25 Mar. 2021.



Further reading:



* “How I Came to Love My Epic Quarantine Reading Project”, Oliver Munday, The Atlantic, https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/11/reading-proust-in-search-of-lost-time-during-pandemic/616850/

* “Analogue Ambles: Marcel Proust’s Dark Room”, Adam Scovell, February 10 2019, https://www.caughtbytheriver.net/2019/02/marcel-prousts-dark-room/

* Kear, Jon (2007) Une Chambre Mentale: Proust’s Solitude. In: Hendrix, Harald, ed. Writers’ Houses and the Making of Memory. Routledge, New York/Oxon, pp. 221-235. ISBN 978-0-415-95742-7



Subscribe to the newsletter

Want more French history and pop culture in your life? Subscribe to the Land of Desire newsletter. The revamped newsletter comes in two flavors: free and paid. Free subscribers receive one newsletter per quarter; paid subscribers receive at least one newsletter per month. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

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