BEAUTIFUL SELF-LETTER signed following the reading of The doorbell by Montesquiou during the evening organized by Proust on June 2, 1905.
This Chapter XIV of Beauty Professionals is devoted to Ms Aubernon, a future role model for Ms Verdurin in La Search.
"Sunday [4 JUNE 1905],
You may well think that it took something unexpected and invincible for me not to have yet expressed my gratitude for the great and charming honour you did me the day before yesterday. This obstacle was a thirty-hour crisis during which all movement (and also all immobility) all thought was denied me, an asthma attack so violent that nothing could resist it. This morning I had the Gaulois where under the heading "Charity" (?) an extremely precise note that I had sent was reduced to two lines, but still to two lines that I had not written. There is an "impromptu" there that I am afraid you will find worthy of serving as a counterpart to the "very intimate".
If you were able to stop all these things for a moment, I would ask you to read the one in the New York Herald, which will show you a great difference from "all intimate" and that I am sensitive to the honour I have received. I hope, moreover, that these beautiful hours, in which the pages that ennobled them have been put in, will belong to a different kind of literature. Thank you again dear Sir, I repeat, I am still too exhausted to develop it further.
Your respectful and grateful Marcel Proust.
I hope Yturri wasn't too tired from the tiredness he was kind enough to impose himself by coming."
References: Kolb, V, No. 101.
Black ink on paper of great mourning. Stamp of Montesquiou with red ink.
Brittle central bend with small adhesive restorations at the head and foot.