PROUST, Marcel. Unpublished autograph letter signed to Lucien Daudet ('Mon cher petit'), n.p. [Paris], n.d. , referring to a letter, and the problems with his speech; he has not wanted to write because he would have poured out all his miseries and asked for advice; he discusses Lucien's new book, comparing it flatteringly with the work of other contemporary writers, 'Ton impressionisme revisé par Pascal est une chose étonnante', also criticizing the current fashion of suppressing the verb; and saying that on Reynaldo [Hahn]'s advice he wrote to a lady about an apartment but she has not replied and in eight days the works start and he has nowhere to go; and announcing Henri [Rochat]'s return, with a postscript referring to his admiring letter to Madame Daudet about her book, 7½ pages, 8vo (on pale grey paper), annotated 'fin 18' in pencil on first page.
Apart from the recurrent and probably neurotic impediment in his speech, which affected him in March 1919, Proust's troubles were greatly increased by the return of Henri Rochat, with whom in 1918 he had become infatuated, misguidedly installing him in his apartment as a somewhat incompetent secretary. 'Je ne sais pas si tu as su qu'un peu avant ton départ Henri était révenu chez moi ou il est toujours. Et j'ai peine à lui faire comprendre quelle fatigue sa presence ajoute aux autres fatigues'. Rochat's departure is the subject of the dramatic unpublished passage in Proust's letter of February [?] 1919 (lot 113). He had returned from the Côte d'Azur having exhausted the funds with which Proust had provided him. The complications caused by his continuing presence are mentioned in a number of Proust's letters to various correspondents in May and June 1919.
His pressing need to find an apartment followed the sale by his aunt of 102 Boulevard Haussmann to a banker who planned to convert it into a bank. Proust postponed until the last possible moment in May his decision to move temporarily to the Rue Laurent Pichat.
Lucien Daudet's new work, La Dimension Nouvelle, which Proust discusses so elequently in this letter, was published in 1919 and the new book by Madame Daudet ('l'adorable tableau du primitif qui est son livre') was Quand Odile saura lire, written for her granddaughter in 1919.