Parisian literary staple Marcel Proust may have died in 1922, but his nine never-before-read stories are set to be published this fall by French publishing house Éditions de Fallois.
These stories were not left out of Proust’s larger repertoire by accident, according to The Smithsonian Magazine. Proust at one time intended to publish them as part of his early collection of poems and stories entitled Plaisirs et les Jours, but he pulled them before the collection’s publication in 1896.
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Bernard de Fallois, founder of the French publishing house Éditions de Fallois, was the one who discovered Proust’s “lost” manuscripts. In fact, Fallois previously published one other complete novel, as well as an unfinished work, that were never published during Proust’s lifetime, according to The Local.
These nine new stories are especially integral to Proust’s legacy because they reveal the early stylistic choices of a young writer who would later go on to pen Swann’s Way, according to Fallois, who died last year.
Proust likely let these stories fall into obscurity because he feared their impact on his reputation, especially as a young writer struggling to make a name for himself. The stories apparently deal heavily with physical touch and intimacy with men. Paris absolutely had a gay community around the turn of the century, but it lived and breathed in a space completely separate from mainstream culture.
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In other words, there was no guarantee that stories about men loving men would sell, and Proust likely feared accusations of homosexuality and how such a reputation would hinder his budding career.
Similarly, the publishing house’s description of the collection implies these stories are dark and tragic rather than lighthearted and romantic, themes which would have counterbalanced the comedic stories in the original collection, Plaisirs et les Jours.
The 188-page collection, composed of novellas and short stories, is titled Le Mystérieux correspondant et autres nouvelles inédites, or The Mysterious Correspondent, and will be released October 9 of this year.
For more information, visit Éditions de Fallois.
Featured Image Via Youth Time Magazine.