Marcel Proust was born on July 10, 1871.
You have strange compatriots. An American girl who assures me she is very beautiful, twenty-seven years old (since she lives in Rome, the Villa Wolkonsky, I have forgotten her name, I don’t give a hang, anyway) writes me that for three years she has done nothing night and day but read my books. I shouldn’t repeat what she said (because I never repeat this sort of thing) except for the conclusion which, if it doesn’t belittle her, humiliates me: “And after three years of uninterrupted reading, my conclusion is this: I understand nothing, but absolutely nothing. Dear Marcel Proust, don’t be a poseur, descend for just once from your empyrean. Tell me in two lines what you wished to say.” Since she didn’t understand it in two thousand lines, or rather since I didn’t know how to express it, I decided it was useless to reply. And she will find me a poseur. Do you know who she is (although it is of no importance)?Related reading
Marcel Proust, in a letter to Walter Berry, December 9, 1921. From Letters of Marcel Proust, translated by Mina Curtiss (New York: Helen Marx Books / Books & Co,, 2006).
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