3 July 2007
PROUST, Marcel (1871-1922). Autograph manuscript of his 'Pastiche de Gaugard', written for Reynaldo Hahn, n.p., n.d. [1908?], 2 pages, 8vo.
'D'une fenêtre (celle de M[adam]e Flury Herard) il raconte qu'il a vu passer en sens inverse M[adam]e Fallières dans une splendide voiture, et l'Impératrice à pied en longs voiles de deuil, portant un bouquet de violettes de Parme à la main et au coeur le regret du Prince Impérial'. Gaugard -- apparently an over-rated contemporary writer -- is prompted by his observations to wear a buttonhole of Parma violets himself and later lay it 'pieusement' before the Empress's photograph.
The pastiche was a literary form which gave Proust's inventive talents particular scope, and his letters to Reynaldo Hahn are in themselves a sort of continuous pastiche of everything that interested them (J. Milly. Les pastiches, 1970, page 13). The reference here to violets foreshadows their inclusion in several well-known descriptions in Du côté de chez Swann. The subjects of the pastiches written for Hahn included, from 1806-1810, Madame de Sévigné, Madame de Noailles, Gaugard, Mallarmé and lesser figures. Pastiches et Mélanges (1919) included those which had previously appeared in Le Figaro and other papers. The pastiche of Gaugard is published in Kolb's edition of the Lettres à Reynaldo Hahn (1956), pages 166-167.
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