Proust's Overcoat

Proust's Overcoat

Book - 2010
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"A rare and wonderfully written book of literary detection that is heartbreaking as well as thrilling."
--Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient

In the tradition of Simon Winchester's The Professor and the Madman comes Proust's Overcoat by Lorenza Foschini--the charming, endlessly intriguing story of a collector's obsessive search for the personal effects of legendary author Marcel Proust. This fascinating true story introduces readers to a truly delightful character-- Jacques Guérin, owner of a perfume company in France--and enthralls them with his relentless lifelong pursuit of all things Proustian, even the author's most mundane possessions.

Publisher: New York, NY : Ecco, 2010
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780061965678
0061965677
Characteristics: 128 p. : ill. ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Karpeles, Eric

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stewaroby Apr 19, 2011

An interest in Proust's life and in books about other people reading him has served as displacement activity for me for some time - if I'm reading about him and his things and the people who have actually read him I can remain forever stuck on the Guermantes Way and not feel too bad about it. This slim volume concerns Jacques Guerin, a Proust fanatic who coincidentally becomes a patient of Dr. Robert Proust, Marcel's brother. Embarrassed by the connection Proust's heirs are selling or destroying everything that belonged to him, and Guerin is only too happy to take it off their hands. How he comes into the possession of Proust's overcoat (and his bedroom furniture) is a fascinating tale, one that brings into sharp focus the desire to own our heroes by owning something that once belonged to them, and how far that desire will take us.

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