Marcel Proust, a Parisian Novel
Divided into two parts, the “Marcel Proust, a Parisian Novel” exhibition presented at the Carnavalet - History of Paris Museum from 16 December 2021 to 10 April 2022 considers the city’s place in the work of the novelist as we celebrate in 2022 the 150th anniversary of his birth.
The writer was born in Paris and died there, and he spent his life within a very small area, a quadrilateral that runs from Parc Monceau to place de la Concorde, from Concorde to Auteuil, and from Auteuil to Bois de Boulogne and l’Étoile. From his first writings in the late 1890s with his classmates from the Lycée Condorcet, to his début in Parisian high society and his encounters with the people who would determine his future, Paris played a decisive role in the dawning of Marcel Proust’s literary vocation. Drawing inspiration from the artistic and social circles he frequented at the time, the people he encountered and his friendships, he gradually awakened to the world of literature and found his way. A large map enables us to mark Marcel Proust’s presence in Paris, his connections and his favourite haunts.
At the heart of the exhibition, the recreation of Marcel Proust’s bedroom offers – via an original device – an immersive experience of the writer’s world. The pieces of furniture and objects of which it consists, all linked to the private life of Marcel Proust and his family, serve to give us a picture of his creative environment and account for the genesis of his work.
The second part of the exhibition presents the fictional Paris created by Marcel Proust. Following the structure of the novel "In Search of Lost Time" and using emblematic Parisian locations, it immerses us in the book and in the city’s history while focusing on the novel’s main protagonists. In its fictionalised version, Paris is the setting for the quest of the narrator, who doubles for the author, leading up to his final discovery of his vocation as a writer.
The some 280 works (paintings, sculptures, graphic works, photographs, architectural models, accessories and clothing), manuscripts and archival documents, from public and private, French and foreign collections, evoke Marcel Proust’s Paris, oscillating between reality and reinvention. The exhibition is accompanied by numerous extracts from archival films, film adaptations and audio recordings of “In Search of Lost Time”.
A wonderful immersion in the world of Proust!
Marcel Proust was a close friend of the Breteuil family, from whom he even drew inspiration for one of his characters in a novel. You will find a waxwork of him, created by the Musée Grévin, in one of the beautifully preserved rooms of the château, west of Paris.
Access and contact
Metro : line 1 : Stop Saint-Paul line 5 : Bréguet Sabin stop line 7 : Pont-Marie stop line 8 : Chemin Ver stop Bus : lines 96 (Place des Vosges), 91 (Saint-Gilles - Chemin Vert), 29 (Place des Vosges), 69 (Saint-Paul), 76 (Saint-Paul)
Days and opening hours
From 16/12/2021 to 10/04/2022, daily between 10 am and 6 pm except on January 1st and December 25th. Ticket office closes at 17:15. Rooms close at 17:45.
- Full price: 11 € (Access to the permanent collections is free.), Reduced price: 9 € (Access to the permanent collections is free.).