Summary and Info
The memoirs of Ernest Forssgren (1894–1970), the young Swede who served as Marcel Proust’s last valet, provide new insights into Proust’s life and death. Previously, Forssgren’s memoir has been published only in excerpts, in French, with serious omissions and alterations. This book presents the complete text of the memoir, with an introduction and helpful annotations by the distinguished Proust scholar William C. Carter. Also included here is other new material: the inscriptions that Proust wrote for Forssgren’s copy of Swann’s Way; an important telegram that Proust sent Forssgren, which defines with greater precision the novelist’s activities in the final months of his life; Forssgren’s “Summary” of the first English biography of Proust, by George D. Painter, which provides many new details about Proust’s last trip to Cabourg in 1914 and his attempts at seducing young men of the servant class; and the notes that Forssgren made in his copy of Painter’s biography.
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