It takes some time to get to Marcel Proust’s grave from the primary entrance of Père Lachaise on Boulevard de Ménilmontant. The Avenue Principale stretches lengthy and with a sure incline, after which it’s important to go virtually to the tip of the massive cemetery in part 85 to find the grave subsequent to a different, a lot bigger but additionally extra weathered one.
The headstone of Proust and his closest members of the family is black, a flower pot and a vase with flowers are on the again, and a row of chestnuts is organized within the entrance. (Chestnuts?) It appears to be like easy and trendy, no comparability to the mighty tombs of, for instance, Oscar Wilde or Balzac on this cemetery.
After his demise on November 18, 1922, Proust was buried with army honors. He was a knight of the Legion of Honor. The funeral service came about on November twenty first within the church of Saint-Pierre-de-Chaillot within the sixteenth arrondissement, a Roman Catholic church, after which he was buried subsequent to his dad and mom within the Père-Lachaise within the twentieth arrondissement.
The truth that it was a Catholic funeral shocked some folks, as Proust’s mom got here from a Jewish household. The fitting-wing nationalist politician and author Maurice Barrès is alleged to have whispered to the author Francois Mauriac that day: “I all the time thought Marcel was a Jew, what a stupendous funeral. (…) Sure, he was our younger man.”
And never solely that: inside three years he had change into one of the vital necessary writers in France, because the Prix Goncourt in 1919. Man Ray, Paul Helleu, the Daudet brothers, Jean Cocteau and André Dunoyer de Segonzac rushed to Proust’s residence on Rue Hamelin . Man Ray took the well-known picture of the full-bearded Proust mendacity on his deathbed; André Dunoyer de Segoncac made a drawing.
It’s quiet at his grave on Père Lachaise on this late September afternoon in 2023. A younger couple walks by and shortly takes a photograph. Are they each Proust readers?
On one aspect of the tombstone are the names of Proust’s father Adrien, who died in 1903, and his mom Jeanne Weil, who died in 1905; the daddy is a crucial hygienist, the mom is among the important characters within the “analysis”. On the opposite are these of Proust’s brother Robert, additionally a health care provider, property supervisor till his demise in 1935, and his spouse Marthe Dubois-Amiot.
As Léon Daudet supposedly mentioned to Proust’s housekeeper Céleste Albaret on the author’s deathbed: “He was greater than a century forward of us all. After him there’s nothing left to do.”
Gerrit Bartels learn the Proust biographies by Tadié and Hayman, however didn’t discover a phrase concerning the funeral ceremonies in them.