No sooner have we celebrated Proust extensively on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of his birthday than we have already arrived in the commemorative year of the hundredth anniversary of his death. And the Parisian museums have saved their major exhibitions for 2022. First up is the Musée Carnavalet, with "Marcel Proust - Un roman parisien" (A Parisian novel). A thematically obvious choice for this house, since it is the history museum of the French capital. And as Luzius Keller, the greatest living German-speaking Proust philologist, put it so strikingly: “The capital plays in
a major role.” Although “In Search of Lost Time” also takes place in the fictitious towns of Combray and Balbec as well as Venice, the actual setting of the giant novel remains Paris.
It tells of the change that this city experienced in the period from about 1870 to 1922, i.e. during Proust's lifespan - socially, culturally, architecturally.
Perfect fodder for the Carnavalet and its rich collection of local history.
Responsible editor for literature and literary life.
Follow I follow
In addition, the museum houses the ultimate Parisian pilgrimage site for Proustians: the bedroom and thus also the room where they died, reconstructed using parts of the original furniture - and study, because Proust used to write in bed. This bed is now on display in the permanent exhibition in the special exhibition area until April, together with Proust's chaise longue, his winter coat, a walking stick and the only surviving fragment of the cork covering with which the writer had sealed himself off from acoustic nuisance from the outside world. And when the museum revamped its Proust room last year, it was gifted yet another remnant of lost time: a fragment of the blue silk bedspread from Proust's bedroom. There are few other writerswhose even the smallest snippets of life produce a similar reliquary effect. What he described in 1919 in the foreword to a book by his painter friend Jacques-Émile Blanche as his (and also his own) fascination does not apply to his audience: “Everything that has migrated from the visible world into the invisible, everything that is remembered transformed, giving a kind of added value to our thinking". We readers, on the other hand, appreciate what remains of Proust as objects.We readers, on the other hand, also appreciate what remains of Proust in the form of objects.We readers, on the other hand, appreciate what remains of Proust as objects.
What is left of the author
There is an outrageously large amount of this in the exhibition: a strand of hair cut off the dead man (there are quite a few of them in the world, and if they were all as lush as these, Proust would have been buried bare), notebooks, his pocket watch, dedication copies, letters , photos, business cards, and of course Blanche's iconic portrait painting of Proust from 1892, which has moved from the Musée d'Orsay to the other side of the Seine for the duration of the exhibition, but in the show's hodgepodge it seems more like shunned. There is too much gathered in the tightly built suite of rooms, also too many visitors for the mostly small-format objects and the screens on which city-atmospheric excerpts from Proust films are shown,which, however, due to the impenetrable crowds of people in front of it, creates acoustic themes rather than a visualization of the scene of the "research". However, one of these video stations shows the 76-second film that only appeared in 2017 of the wedding of a daughter of the Greffulhe family, who was well known to Proust, in 1904, on which it was believed to have identified the writer among the crowd of guests. The report of Proust's first moving image went around the world at the time (FAZ of February 17, 2017), but is now dismissed by the Carnavalet as a highly probable misinterpretation.where one believed to have identified the writer in the crowd of guests. The report of Proust's first moving image went around the world at the time (FAZ of February 17, 2017), but is now dismissed by the Carnavalet as a highly probable misinterpretation.where one believed to have identified the writer in the crowd of guests. The report of Proust's first moving image went around the world at the time (FAZ of February 17, 2017), but is now dismissed by the Carnavalet as a highly probable misinterpretation.Keywords: