Shelves: nonfiction , authors-books , autobio-bio-memoirs , france , , favourites , reviewed So it was that evening in September when he deliberately entered into his life as a partial recluse - the last eight years of his life and of his work. And it was then, although I didnt realize it, and although, as he said, it wasnt proper, that I entered into that life too - to remain to the end. Belmont assures the reader that he tested her information by repeatedly returning to various topics from different angles. Albaret was years-old. Albaret was M. It had not been her intention to seek employment with M.
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Before very long she became his secretary and housekeeper. In the early s she was persuaded by the Laffont publishing company that she should disclose what she could concerning the private life of Marcel Proust, who was still an iconic literary figure among the intellectual classes. She dictated seventy hours of taped material to Georges Belmont , a journalist-translator with a reputation built on interviews with American movie-stars and translations into French of anglophone novels by Anthony Burgess , Graham Greene , Henry James , Henry Miller and others.
The resulting biographical portrait of Proust provided many hitherto unknown details, although the overall picture was in most respects reassuringly consistent with information already provided by Proust in his novels and elsewhere. Ten years older than she, Albaret was already "doing taxi work" in the far away capital.
In , through the intervention of her husband with his illustrious regular client, she was "asked to fill in for a few days",  and permitted to undertake errands for Marcel Proust , delivering letters and books.
So we created our own sort of intimacy, though for him it was chiefly an atmosphere within which to work, while I forgot about my own tasks and could see nothing but a magic circle.
When he came home in the early hours of the morning she would wait up for him he never carried the key for his apartment. If he wanted to talk she would listen. She agreed at once, though she had absolutely no idea who or what this third person singular was. She read The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas at his prompting, though she rejected his suggestion that she should read Balzac.
Cooking did not take place at home. She was, however, mandated to telephone meal orders to the fine city restaurants: these were dispatched with minimal delay to the address at Boulevard Haussmann. Permanently ill by this time, Proust ate little by the middle-and upper class standards of Paris at those times, and he hardly drank. A meal might consist of a little of the white meat from a chicken or a filet of sole, washed down, on rare occasions, with a little flute of Champagne or of Bordeaux, which would suffice.
The only meal which he really revered was the coffee and croissants, which he consumed as his tea-time "breakfast". Sources speculate that a more varied diet might have buttressed his failing health more effectively[ according to whom? It would, however, be wrong to think that he was wholly inflexible in his "breakfast" routine. The kitchens at the Hotel Ritz remained open longer than those of most establishments, but even here the kitchens were not, for most of his purposes, staffed and accessible through the night.
Albaret held her own key, however, in order that she might be able to access the hotel kitchens at any point during the night, should her employer require a chilled beer. The reduction in his social life seemed to intensify his need to write. Albaret enabled him to remain creative.
She wrote down texts as he dictated them to her and became important as a point of contact with the outside world. Some sources attest that she also provided inspiration for his descriptions of certain character traits[ according to whom?
It seems likely that the prediction came true. With her husband she opened a hotel along the Rue des Canettes , the Hotel Alsace Lorraine, later renamed the Hotel La Perle,  which the couple ran with their daughter, Odile.
The hotel was probably sold around , by which time Odilon Albaret was close to retirement age. This was the house where Maurice Ravel had lived between and his death, and which now functioned as a small museum dedicated to the composer. Under the terms of a "convention de gardiennage" which the sisters signed with Edouard Ravel, they agreed to look after the house for a term of twenty years. Proust que de Ravel aux visiteurs".
By this time almost all the celebrities that — thanks to Proust — Albaret had known as a young woman were gone. He told her husband: "Just tell her that if ever she left I would not be able to go on with my work.
Grande traversée : Céleste Albaret chez monsieur Proust
Durchgelesen – „Monsieur Proust“ v. Céleste Albaret