Intimate letters, personal photographs and rare manuscripts that once belonged to French writer Marcel Proust will go under the hammer in Paris.
Among the items to be offered on sale is an original edition of ‘Du cote de chez Swann’ (‘Swann’s Way’), the first volume of Remembrance and which was published in 1913, and is expected to go for around $500,000 when it goes under the hammer at Sotheby’s in Paris next month.
Other interesting items being put up for auction are two of the three known letters from Proust to his father, who did not see literature as a proper profession.
In a September 1893 missive Proust appears to submit to parental authority by saying he wanted to “seriously” study for foreign service entrance exam.
In another letter, which is from Proust to Hahn, the author says his friend is “truly the person, along with mother, that I love most in the world,” or Daudet.
This auction will remove the curtains from a “scandalous” photograph which shows Proust’s lover and friend, the French writer Lucien Daudet, looking at Marcel with a rather enamored and resolved stare, while their friend, Robert de Flers, looks fixedly at the camera. There’s also one of the most famous portraits of the writer, taken when he was about 17, and which bears an inscription on its back from Daudet that reads: “to my dear Marcel.”
Among the 120 selected items in the Marcel Proust auction is the famous photograph by Man Ray of the author on his deathbed.