By Lorenza Foschini
Jacques GuÉrin was once a well known businessman on the head of his family's winning fragrance corporation, yet his actual ardour used to be for infrequent books and literary manuscripts. From the time he used to be a tender guy, he frequented the antiquarian bookshops of Paris looking for misplaced, forgotten treasures. the last word prize? whatever from the arms of Marcel Proust. GuÉrin pointed out with Proust extra deeply than with the other author, and while disorder introduced him by accident lower than the care of Marcel's brother, Dr. Robert Proust, he observed it as a amazing chance. Shamed through Marcel's extravagant writings, embarrassed by means of his homosexuality, and angry by way of his overlook for bourgeois respectability, his relatives had started to intentionally damage and promote their inheritance of his notebooks, letters, manuscripts, furni-ture, and private results. Horrified by way of the destruction, and fed on with wish, GuÉrin ingratiated himself with Marcel's heirs, placating them with funds and kindness in trade for the writer's worthwhile, infrequent fabric is still. After years of relentless persuasion, GuÉrin was once finally rewarded with a hugely own prize, one he had by no means dreamed of owning, a relic he valuable to the top of his lengthy lifestyles: Proust's overcoat. Proust's Overcoat introduces a solid of exciting and unforgettable characters, each one encouraged and plagued by Marcel, his writing, and his orphaned items. jointly they demonstrate a curious and compelling story of misplaced and located, of universal issues and unusual wishes.
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Additional resources for Proust's Overcoat: The True Story of One Man's Passion for All Things Proust
Tosi was dumbfounded. The gentleman “rose and took down from the shelves a box tied in string. ” Tosi described the coat to me, with his wardrobe master’s all-seeing eye. ” he asked. The man recounted an astonishing tale. It had gotten very late. I bid my farewell to Piero Tosi, fascinated and intrigued by his stories about this mysterious, obsessive collector. Early the next morning I was awakened by a ringing telephone. It was Tosi, polite, discreet, to the point: “I found the calling card. ” JACQUES GUÉRIN.
Dumbfounding his older brother, Jean had let their mother know that both of her sons were homosexual. This was in 1924. THE LETTER TO HIS GRANDFATHER. At his house on rue Berton, Guérin was still in a reverie, surrounded by the salvaged items that had come out of the hatbox. He found most remarkable a letter dated May 1888, the same year Proust had written to Bizet proclaiming his love. Guérin smiled reading these lines, written in a young person’s steady hand. At the top right corner of a square yellow page he read: Thursday night My dear grandpapa, I must ask your indulgence for the sum of 13 francs.
In those years, Proust complained to Bizet: I’ve got plenty of worries, my family and I aren’t getting along. I think they’re going to send me away to a college in the provinces. I don’t know anything about it. For how long? Maybe forever, maybe just for a couple of days. I just don’t know. Why? . Do you think maybe it’s because she finds our affection for each other a bit excessive? She’s afraid it might degenerate to sensual pleasure. ” Like Proust, Guérin also had a younger brother. Their rapport was much less strained, thanks in part to the sympathetic affinities that sometimes flourish between brothers.