Delhi Proustians – My Life with Marcel and the Unjustness of Proust’s Great-Grand-Niece
Consider the Proustians.
[Text by Mayank Austen Soofi; photos by friends]
This is personal. French novelist Marcel Proust’s personal archives is to be auctioned by Soethby in Paris. They are being sold by his great-grand-niece. Here’s the news from AFP, dated May 3 2016.
Intimate letters, personal photographs and rare manuscripts that once belonged to French writer Marcel Proust will go under the hammer in Paris, Sotheby’s auction house said Monday.
The collection of some 120 items from the “Remembrance of Things Past” author’s personal archives even includes a hand-corrected proof of one of his well-known works.
The trove of artefacts, being sold by the writer’s 41-year-old great-grand-niece Patricia Mante-Proust, is to be auctioned on May 31.
Experts estimate the entire collection will sell for 520,000 to 740,000 euros ($600,000 to 850,000).
Included are several photos of the author, his family and close male friends Lucien Daudet and Reynaldo Hahn who were also his lovers.
This is cruel. The families of authors should have no right upon the material legacies of their great relations (Ok, give them the money). The writers belong to us, the readers. These objects of Proust will most likely be purchased by private buyers, but they ideally belong to a public museum so that they can be accessible to people who live everyday with Proust. It’s like as if we Proustians are being robbed of our possessions.
I have a live-in relationship with Marcel and I grievously suffer by this auction. See the pictures below for evidence. These deeply intimate images, taken by friends across the years, were not supposed to be made public in this manner but I’m forced to commit this act to express my outrage.
My life with Marcel
So what exactly do you take issue with — that they’re auctioning possessions meant to be kept private, or that these possessions may not be accessible by the public?
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