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Monsieur Proust

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3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  473 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Céleste Albaret was Marcel Proust's housekeeper in his last years, when he retreated from the world to devote himself to In Search of Lost Time. She could imitate his voice to perfection, and Proust himself said to her, "You know everything about me." Her reminiscences of her employer present an intimate picture of the daily life of a great writer who was also a deeply pec ...more
Paperback, 456 pages
Published October 31st 2003 by NYRB Classics (first published 1973)
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Paintings in Proust by Eric KarpelesMarcel Proust by Jean-Yves TadiéMonsieur Proust by Céleste AlbaretMarcel Proust by Edmund WhiteThe Cambridge Companion to Proust by Richard Bales
Books on Proust
3rd out of 53 books — 13 voters
Stoner by John WilliamsChess Story by Stefan ZweigThe Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy CasaresA High Wind in Jamaica by Richard HughesThe Summer Book by Tove Jansson
New York Review Books - Classics
307th out of 410 books — 476 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,922)
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Fionnuala
When a magnum opus is born to the world, it doesn’t happen by magic. In the case of A la recherche du temps perdu, there was no instant delivery by stork and no cabbage leaves involved either. Instead, it took a long time and involved a lot of labour, the author horizontal on his bed, giving birth slowly and with huge effort to the book of his life. While he laboured semi-propped against his pillows, determined to deliver his work onto the page perfectly formed, he had the services of an excelle ...more
David
Dec 28, 2011 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: nyrb, france
Céleste Albaret, Marcel Proust's majordomo and jacqueline-of-all-trades for the last ten years (or so) of his life, 'wrote' this memoir in the 1970s. And by 'wrote' I mean that she rattled off her memories to a ghostwriter, and then the ghostwriter's book Monsieur Proust was later translated into English. So the NYRB edition of Monsieur Proust referenced here is really twice-removed from a first-person account. But probably another layer of removal is implied by the fifty years which passed betw ...more
William Dearth
Jun 15, 2014 William Dearth rated it really liked it
Shelves: french
This is not really a review, but I would like to add a few comments. As others have stated, it is a shame that 50 years went by before Celeste felt the need to tell her story. It is also unfortunate that she did not keep the requested diary. The fact that she was 80 years old should not necessarily be an issue as I have met a few folks that are still very lucid at that age i.e., long-term memory is not the issue that short-term memory is.

There are others that have written some things that are no
...more
John
May 13, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
I do wish Mme. Albaret had maintained the diary that her employer suggested, even insisted that she keep. After all, Proust, not one given to self-deprecation out of false modesty, was sure that, after his death, Albaret's diary, had she kept one, would bring sufficient money at auction to sustain her all of her years. As it is, however, we do have the memoir that she dictated to the Kitty Kelly of her time and place, in 1972, at age 82, fifty years after she stood by her employer's bed as he di ...more
S.
Proust liked sole, served on a napkin, if he ate at all.
Sometimes he drank one coffee, sometimes two.
Proust did not use soap, only dabbed his face with a towel.
He brushed with tooth powder, which on occasion sifted down to his tie.
But, as he remarked, no one saw him for his ties.
Proust kept the hours of a vampire.
He should have left his housekeeper some money.
Jocelyne Lebon
Jun 16, 2013 Jocelyne Lebon rated it it was amazing
Felt fully engrossed in this fascinating biography. I can't decide if Céleste had an impossible crush on Proust or if she was a saint, in which case she ought to be properly canonized.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Monsieur Proust, Céleste Albaret
عنوان: آقای پروست - خاطرات سلست آلباره از زندگی با مارسل پروست؛ نویسنده: سلست آلباره؛ مترجم: هوشنگ رکنی؛ تهران، کانون معرفغت، 1343، در 148 ص؛ عنوان دیگر: ورکور؛ عنوان دیگر: خاطرات سلست آلباره از زندگی با مارسل پروست؛ موضوع: سرگذشتنامه مارسل پروست؛ قرن 20 م

عنوان: آقای پروست - خاطرات سلست آلباره از زندگی با مارسل پروست؛ به ژرژ بلمون: مترجم: شهرزاد ماکویی؛ مینو حسینی؛ تهران، آگه، 1389، در 487 ص؛ عنوان دیگر: خاطرات سلست آلباره؛ موضوع: سرگذشتنامه مارسل پروست؛ قرن 20 م
...more
Nelson Zagalo
Jun 25, 2015 Nelson Zagalo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Depois de ter lido “Em Busca do Tempo Perdido” fui em busca de algo mais, de saber quem era realmente Proust, o quanto se escondia dele por detrás da figura do seu narrador. Existem dezenas de livros sobre Proust, e de análise da sua obra. Muito se escreveu e continua a escrever, desde análises da pintura em Proust, à literatura, filosofia, amores, autoajuda, etc. De todos, os que me parecem reunir maior consenso são as duas biografias, ambas com mais de mil páginas cada, uma do britânico Willia ...more
Joseph Sales
Aug 23, 2011 Joseph Sales rated it really liked it
I ordered Monsieur Proust online to give me more context while I labor through v.2 and was delighted when it arrived yesterday. It's a biography as dictated by his "personal assistant".

Proust the artist was sui generis, Proust the person and employer was if anything more so.

"He changed the shape of his moustache once, just as he had his beard shaved off just before I met him. After that he wore his moustache rather long and curled with a curling iron. Then one day after the war-it was his sole
...more
Dave Holmes
Aug 02, 2014 Dave Holmes rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Proust fans
An intimate and affectionate biopic of Marcel Proust' s last 10 years of life. Written when Mme. Albaret, Proust's housekeeper, was 82, the story she tells of her employer, their employment relationship, and her employer's eccentricities is quite charming. At the same time what she reveals is guarded by a continuing loyalty to M. Proust. Not surprisingly, her role as housekeeper gave her no insight into the writing or publication of In Search of Lost Time.
Dagny
Aug 01, 2012 Dagny rated it really liked it
Shelves: french, non-fiction
An absolutely delightful memoir written many years later by the young woman who was Proust's housekeeper during the last few years of his life. When Céleste was newly married to Proust's driver, he suggested she run errands and perform the odd task for his employer. This soon turned into a full-time job which lasted until Proust's death.
Haman
Oct 17, 2014 Haman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essay
حالا مي فهمم همه تلاش و جستجوي آقاي پروست و همه از خود گذشتگي اش براي خلق اثرش، براي اين بود تا از سويي بتواند خودش را خارج از زمان قرار دهد و از سويي ديگر، بتواند زمان را دريابد. وقتي سكوت برقرار است، زمان وجود ندارد. او به اين سكوت نياز داشت تا فقط صداهايي را كه مي خواست بشنود، همان صداهايي كه در كتابش آمده ...more
Peter
Marcel Proust's Haushälterin erzählt wie es "wirklich" war. Unglaublich interessant. Celeste war in den letzten 10 Lebensjahren die "Frau" in seinem Leben. Haushälterin, Botin, Mutter, Vertraute...Unverbrüchlich solidarisch und und und... Für Proustianer ein wichtiges Buch - unbedigt lesenswert.
Elnaz
Apr 10, 2014 Elnaz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-reviews
انطور که باید نبود
سلست آلباره شاید به خاطر علاقه شدیدی که به مارسل پروست داشته در برخی صفحات و خاطرات ستایش بیش از حدش محسوس
Mari Mann
Marcel Proust's housekeeper and companion for the last ten years of his life, Celeste "wrote" this book 50 years after his death. Actually it was written as if she wrote it by Georges Belmont, after 70 hours of interviews. She obviously was devoted to Proust and loved him, and only decided to speak after all the "lies" she was hearing about Marcel. So she denies his homosexuality, that he could be at times a callous, insensitive social climber, that he was somewhat of a hypochondriac (he did hav ...more
judith
Apr 10, 2007 judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four stars for style, 5 stars for content. I was so curious about Proust's personal life because I have read that he spent most of his hours in his room, seldom leaving his apartment. And he knew so many of Paris' haut beau monde so I had high hopes for this. I just lost my own description, so here's the one from the editors: "Book Description
Céleste Albaret was Marcel Proust's housekeeper in his last years, when he retreated from the world to devote himself to In Search of Lost Time. She could
...more
Amir
Feb 22, 2011 Amir rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
این دو ستاره هم فقط برای این است که کتاب دربارهی مارسل پروست است و یکی دو مقطع مهم از زندگی او را - که در کتاب هم اثرگذار بوده- از زبان شاهد زندگی واقعی پروست (با فرض اطمینان به روایت شاهد) میخوانیم؛ یکی ماجرای دیدار پروست از تابلوی «چشماندازی از دلفت» و دیگری شرح پایان گرفتن کتاب و پس از آن مرگ پروست. اینها روی هم میشوند کمتر از صفحه از کتاب.
از روی خیلی صفحات کتاب سرسری گذشتم و حتا بعضی فصلها را جا زدم. اینکه مارسل پروست چه پاپوشی در خانه میپوشیده یا شیرینیاش را میگفته از کدام شیرینیفروشی بخرن
...more
Mark
Aug 09, 2014 Mark rated it it was amazing
I hadn't known that this existed - the memoir of Céleste Albaret, Proust's housekeeper for the last several years of his life. The book was dictated to Georges Belmont in 1973 and there was an English translation a few years later; I read a recent edition in the NYRB classic series. An absolutely fascinating look at Proust's bizarre life and methods. His great work seems like a massive fictionalized autobiography, plus all the other things that it is, an investigation of human relationships and ...more
Nooshin Ha
شادی زمانی به ما روی می آورد که چیزی را همان طور که می خواهیم به دست می آوریم. اگر از ملاقاتی خوشمان می آید، سفر خوشی داشته ایم و هنگام بازگشت کاملاً رفع خستگی کرده ایم، خوشحالیم و احساس شادابی و جوانی می کنیم. خواب و خستگی به وجودمان راه نمی یابد...
[به دنبال شخصیت های داستانی_ ص]
حرکت نکردن، باعث نگرانی می شود. نمی شود ساعت ها بی حرکت روی صندلی نشست، حتی اگر بخواهیم با بی صبری گذر زمان را با دوخت و دوز جبران کنیم، باز هم کارساز یست. اضطراب و دلشوره همچنان عرصه را بیشتر و بیشتر تنگ می کند. خصوصاً
...more
Abby
Sep 20, 2014 Abby rated it liked it
I nurture a noisy obsession with Marcel Proust, so I was excited to read this book, a memoir by his housekeeper, who was perhaps his closest confidante for 10 years. I find myself sadly, a bit disappointed. Albaret wrote the book at the age of 82, and she seemed so defensive throughout, particularly with regard to anyone saying anything even slightly negative about Proust. I’m sure he was very charming to her, but he wasn’t perfect; it would have been nice to hear her admit that more. She also c ...more
Zari
وقتی او را خسته می دیدم ، یا وقتی می دیدم غذایش دست نخورده باقی مانده ، نگران می شدم و می گفتم :
_ چرا غذا نمی خورید ، آقا ؟ با این وضع چگونه می خواهید سر پا بمانید؟
_ سلست عزیز ، دقت کنید ، وقتی غذای خوبی می خوریم سنگین می شویم . و دیگر روح و ذهنمان آزاد نیست ، متوجه هستید ؟ من احتیاج دارم که روح و ذهن ام آزاد باشد.
Shima
Jun 17, 2014 Shima rated it really liked it
Céleste Albaret fut la gouvernante et l'unique confidente de Marcel Proust pendant les huit dernières années de sa vie. Et elle peint un portrait affectueux et fascinant de cette existence raréfié, ses allées et venues, leurs conversations, ses habitudes et ses routines.
Merci BEAUCOUP, Celeste !
Iñaki Tofiño
Jul 23, 2013 Iñaki Tofiño rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
El problema de madame Albaret és que insisteix tant en les seves credencials com a testimoni fidedigne ("jo hi era", "ho recordo com si fos avui", "no ho oblidaré mentre visqui") que al final un acaba per no creure res del que explica.
A banda, està tan preocupada per defensar la "reputació" del seu amo que acaba caient en l'absurd. Hi ha algú dubti que Proust era gai? Doncs res de res, senyores, aquí hi ha la governanta que dedica pàgines i pàgines a negar l'evidència (el capítol "D'autres amour
...more
Anne Nikoline
Jul 26, 2015 Anne Nikoline rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with broad horizons
Recommended to Anne Nikoline by: book club
I cannot believe Monsieur Proust by Céleste Albaret has been read and review by so few. It is very well written with a blooming language which unfolds right in front of your eyes as a rare occurrence. Celeste Albaret is the secretary, housekeeper and nurse of the French novelist Marcel Proust for the last nine years of his existent. That said, Monsieur Proust is hard for me to rate because of the genre, autobiography, and I find it hard to rate another person's life. It does not seem very ethica ...more
Wayne
Nov 20, 2012 Wayne added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Proustian parasites
Recommended to Wayne by: my addiction

Celeste,
being a loyal and loving housekeeper,
refused to believe anything 'nasty' about her Monsieur Proust.
So ALL that "tres gai" stuff just wasn't on!!!!!!

That's the stalwart character
which controls this version of Our Marcel.

And she paints a ,loving and fascinating portrait
of this rarified existence,
his comings and goings,
their conversations,
his habits and routines.

It is the closest you'll ever get to the Real Thing.

A wondrous gem of a memoir.

Merci BEAUCOUP, Celeste !!!!

Hamed
Mar 04, 2014 Hamed rated it really liked it
I wish I had read the "in the search of lost time". But it was quite fun to watch a great man approaching the end of his masterpiece and his life.
Caleb Mason
Aug 20, 2012 Caleb Mason rated it it was amazing
If you want to get an inside view of what Proust was like while frantically writing his classic Remembrances of Time Lost this account by his trusted housekeeper toward the end of her life is a light but interesting addition to what is known about the author.
Morgane
Nov 04, 2013 Morgane rated it it was amazing
This book is an absolute delight for anyone who enjoys Proust. It was such a pleasure to learn about what influenced "In Search of Lost Time", and what Proust was like when he was writing it. It makes me wish I could have known him personally, too.
Ricardo Viana
Feb 11, 2016 Ricardo Viana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biografia
Um relato extraordinário da vida de um dos maiores escritores mundiais. Para quem quer conhecer o mundo de Proust, o livro é recomendadíssimo.
Ian
Feb 27, 2013 Ian rated it liked it
A loving portrait of Proust by his servant - maybe a little uncritical, making out he was perfect but still insightful and easy to read
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“M. Proust was more severe than M. de Caillavet on Anatole France: "He was selfish and supercilious. He had read so much that he had left his heart in other people's books, and all that remained was dryness. One day I asked him how he came to know so much. He said, 'Not by being such a handsome young man as you. I wasn't in demand, and instead of going out I studied and learned'.” 2 likes
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