Proust, Marcel, French writer (1871-1922). Autograph letter signed.

No place, "Mercredi soir", [8 May (?) 1905].

8vo. 4 pp. on bifolium. On stationery with black border.


In French, to Gabriel Mourey on his translation of Ruskin's "Treasures of the Kings" and his love of flowers thwarted by asthma. The letter refers to the proofs of the last part of his translation of John Ruskin's "Treasures" published on 15 May 1905 in the magazine "Les Arts de la Vie", edited by Mourey. Proust thanks him for having "taken the trouble and found the time, in the midst of all your occupations, to return this manuscript to me. I immediately corrected the proofs, which were absurd because of the fault not of your protests but of my typist", and he sent them back to Mr. Davoust. "I did not confuse your handwriting with my own (unfortunately for me there is no confusion possible!) you restored a paragraph number that I had forgotten. So you correct this in the English text! That is wonderful! This way of conducting our poor little instruments, with an open book, on the orchestral score, amazes me." He recommends not to correct the word 'chanter': "It's not a mistake, I put 'chanter' once and 'château' the other time. There is 'cantel' and 'castel' in the text and I have thus preserved, even reinforced, the alliteration. I know that 'chantau' is not very popular, but neither is 'cantel'. It is the same word and the same derivation." Finally, he evokes Mourey's "Verger" (Orchard) "that undoubtedly the spring dews and Japanese of these flowers that I loved so much and that I can no longer approach since they give me terrible asthma attacks, punishment for having loved them too much, which in my case takes on something even more mythological than pathological, and from which I would easily extract, it seems to me, the legend of a Nemesis hidden in the starry heart of the apple trees, who forbids to overstep the normal limit of admiration and desire towards them and stops in front of their flowers the indiscreet lover in a ridiculous sternutation, which, if I had not suffered so much, would seem to me, in some metamorphosis, directly translated from Latin" (transl.).

Slight damage to edges and centerfold, otherwise in fine condition.

Stock Code: BN#52766 Tag: