This is the façade of the apartment building located at 102, boulevard Haussmann in the eighth arrondissement, where Marcel Proust lived from 1906-19.
It was here that he wrote most of In Search of Lost Time. Proust leased the apartment from an aunt who sold the building in 1919 to the banker René Varin-Bernier. The bank still occupies the building today. A plaque on the wall nearby commemorates the literary importance of this Paris address.
Photographing Literary Landscapes
In 1913, Marcel Proust published Swann’s Way, the first part of his monumental novel In Search of Lost Time. He worked on his book for over fourteen years, writing seven volumes and creating many unforgettable characters. His novel encompasses many themes, love and jealousy, the snobbery of high society, the dangers of mistaking Eros for art, the stirrings of memory and the unstoppable nature of time. Since its publication, this vast novel continues to delight and inspire readers throughout the world.
The scenes depicted by Proust in the novel captivate his readers so much that many travel to visit the places that inspired him. These literary landscapes are to be found in Paris, Illiers-Combray, and Cabourg. I admire a writer’s ability to see a real object or place and make it visible to others through words. By using photography, I can return to the location that inspired the writer and capture the same landscapes as they continue to exist in time. The resulting juxtaposition of reality and art is a phenomenon that I find endlessly fascinating.