2.23.2013

My Favorite Marcel

Everyone's talking about this picture again, now asserting that it shows Marcel was the first to play air guitar. Well, why not? He loved music, he loved the girl standing on the chair (Jeanne Pouquet, one of his models for Gilberte Swann) even though she was affianced to his friend Gaston Arman de Caillavet.  Others are Gabrielle Schwartz, Gabriel Trarieux, the Daireaux and the Dancognée girls.

This great photograph is the only one I've seen of Proust enjoying a moment of true levity, sporting a sly, mischievous smile. Readers of his novels know that in addition to being a sickly recluse, he was also an extremely amusing & intelligent man -- the kind you'd want at your dinner parties & salons, despite his overcoat -- with his writing filled with biting humor & slashing satire. (You just have to find it!)