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Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
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Monsieur Proust (original 1973; edition 2004)

by Celeste Albaret, Augusto Donaudy, Georges Belmont

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281168,375 (3.71)10
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.… (more)
Member:DavideValecchi
Title:Monsieur Proust
Authors:Celeste Albaret
Other authors:Augusto Donaudy, Georges Belmont
Info:Milano, Se, [2004]
Collections:Your library
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Monsieur Proust by Céleste Albaret (1973)

Recently added byprivate library, Steve_Walker, Rivaton, CIMA, Fesp, Queenofcups, brittanymallion, Himmelkoemov, jSummer
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    Renoir, My Father by Jean Renoir (davidcla)
    davidcla: Pleasant to see how these read in tandem (and with In Search of Lost Time).
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» See also 10 mentions

A welcome insight into what Proust was like "at home." Although an extremely peculiar person, he has never seemed to me to be more so than other geniuses about whom I've read.
I found everything interesting that Celine had to say about working for Proust and about her getting to be more and more Proust's confidante in his plans for characters in his novel. (But she takes care to show that her role was completely passive, except for her keeping up his home as he wanted and later, providing a clever idea for handling--physically--Proust's multitude of revisions.)
On the other hand, Celine does not discuss the overarching theme of the novel--the effort to recapture time. Nor does she mention my favorite part of Proust's writing: his metaphors and other figurative writing. I can better understand, having read the memoir, how Proust went back to his work and added exactitude to the writing, or even metaphors within metaphors. It makes for sentences that require extended attention to grasp all that is in them.
But even though that aspect of Proust's writing is not addressed, I felt completely satisfied with the memoir as written. ( )
  Diane-bpcb | Feb 8, 2015 |
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For my daughter, Odile
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It is sixty years now since I saw him for the first time, but it is as if it were yesterday.
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...he must have let, or even made, a lot of people think he felt affection and friendship for them, whereas in fact - it was the thing that always struck me - he could do without all of them with the greatest of ease.
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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.

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