H-France Salon

Chief Editor
Patrick Bray, University College London (p.bray@ucl.ac.uk)

Associate Editors
Jennifer Heuer, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Lia Brozgal, University of California, Los Angeles
Gülru Çakmak, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Originating in 2009, H-France Salon is a multimedia journal of French Studies in its broadest sense, encompassing history, literature, cinema, art history, theory, and culture. Salons have included debates and collective reassessments of critical, methodological, and professional issues in our fields, tributes to influential individuals, recordings of conference presentations, webinars, and innovative blog projects. We welcome proposals that build on these initiatives or take us in new directions. Please contact us with ideas. (p.bray@ucl.ac.uk)

Volume 13, Issue 13
Proust at Home: A Centennial Celebration of Le Côté de Guermantes” 

Edited by:
Patrick Bray, University College London

Jennifer Rushworth, University College London

Marcel Proust published Le Côté de Guermantes in two volumes in 1920 and 1921. To celebrate this twin anniversary, H-France Salon is publishing a special issue dedicated to the theme of “Proust at Home.” The third volume of Proust’s Recherche begins with the narrator’s family moving into the Hôtel de Guermantes, marking a changed sense of domesticity in the novel as characters from vastly different social spheres cohabitate in close proximity. Other major themes of this volume also resonate today, such as the Doncières episode, the first descriptions of the Affaire Dreyfus, Swann’s illness, and the grandmother’s death.

Contemporary readers of Proust have just experienced months of lockdown, confined to our homes, close to but separated from neighbours and family. At this time, we might particularly envy aspects of the protagonist’s social life, such as his attending a performance of La Berma at the Opéra, dining with Saint-Loup and friends at Doncières, watching Saint-Loup’s mistress Rachel on stage, or being invited to dinner with the Guermantes. And yet, like the narrator, we have had to come to terms with new ways of living at home, some by compulsive Zooming (the narrator’s telephone call to his grandmother), some by cooking (Françoise’s déjeuner or the society dîner), others by taking up craft projects (Mme de Villeparisis painting), and others still by rereading Proust. How do we engage with Proust at home, as opposed to at the office or in the library?

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