PROUST, Marcel. Autograph letter signed to Lucien Daudet, n.p. [Paris], n.d. [14 August 1918], thanking him warmly for the 'Pastiches' and for his letter, 'Ce que tu me dis pour le titre est naturellement très beau, et je voudrais pouvoir l'écrire en note au bas du titre'; declaring that what Daudet has written on each piece is better than the thing itself, and a book should be made of his letters; discussing the title, and fearing that a careless reader may think it a sequel to Temps Perdu, 'ce risque est assez fâcheux et assez menaçant pour que je me borne au titre le plus clair possible ... une indication pratique et sautant aux yeux, qui évite la confusion', and concluding 'Aussi je dirai peut-être Pastiches et Mélanges (La Mort des Cathédrales etc. en sous-titre)'; referring to something confusing he said about Princess Soutzo, which he will explain when they meet, and describing amusingly a solitary dinner at the Ritz where Winston Churchill was also dining; concluding by repeating that he would like to see Daudet and Reynaldo, and others, but is too tired, with a postscript [written several days later, at the head of the 1st page], 'J'ai reritzyé avec Reynaldo et Guiche samedi', and explaining that the letter was forgotten and he is posting it, 8 pages, 8vo.
Proust writes that the director of the restaurant at the Ritz, who, unaware that he comes alone in order to eat and to relax, stands beside his table ('cet homme me fatigue. Il est d'ailleurs extrèmement gentil bien que flairant les m.g. partout'), informed him that Winston Churchill [on a visit to Paris to discuss munitions] was at the neighbouring table, and an American minister at another. Of another guest Proust observes 'Je ne sais plus quel Marlborough avait une enorme cravate blanche, ce qui était aussi diplodocus que le haut de la forme de Lord Bertie' [the British ambassador], also noting that the 'bande Sala' was not there, 'les garçons ne s'enfuyèrent pas éperdus vers les cuisines sauf pour chercher les plats'. Antoine Sala, an attaché at the Italian embassy, made no secret of his homosexual preferences, and his group of friends was reputed to share them (Proust and Antoine Bibesco had coined the word 'salaïsme'). The director of the Ritz restaurant was one of those to whom Proust sometimes gave money, in return for being kept informed of who was dining with whom.
Pastiches et Mélanges, the collection of Proust's Lemoine parodies, his Ruskin prefaces and selected articles which had appeared in Le Figaro ten years earlier was finally issued in 1919. He had to borrow from Lucien Daudet the cuttings of some of the articles since he had not kept them himself. Kolb, XVII, 342; Cahiers, V (LV).