Marcel Proust’s unpublished epistolary collection sheds light on his relationship with a very strange host.

To be published Thursday in Gallimard, Letters to Horace Finleyhis friend, a banker, tells of the writer’s daily life with a parasitic master whom he finds difficult to get rid of and whom he hid between 1918 and 1921.

An unknown anecdote from the life of Marcel Proust reappears. in Letters to Horace, finally, a collection of twenty unpublished letters, which will appear on Thursday in the Gallimard editions, we learn that the authorIn search of lost time had the greatest difficulty in getting rid of the Swiss guest whom he had settled for three years. Only with the help of the recipient of the letters did he manage to send him to Brazil in 1921.

This Finale was one of the masters of French finance during the Great Era and the interwar period, managed the Bank of Paris and a number of countries (now BNP Paribas). He studied with Proust at one of the best schools in Paris, Condorcet. Rosha, on the other hand, remained in the shadows all his life. His date of birth is unknown. This immigrant in Paris, “A waiter at the Ritz when Proust noticed him in 1917”is “probably a native of Valle de Jou, in the canton of Vaud” and the Jura massif a few kilometers from the French border, described in the introduction by the writer Thierry Lager, a specialist from Proust.

In 1918, the novelist had the idea to move into his house, “believing on the one hand that he would only stay for a few weeks, on the other hand that he could serve as (his) secretary”he wrote Horace the Finale.

Letters found

He took it badly: Henri Roche has no skill. And not content with almost three years of clinging to free housing, he will spend the money of the owner wrong and because of this. Without the letters to the Final, we would hardly have known this psychodrama. They reappear at an auction in France in June 2021 at the Agutt House. The Literary Hotel Association then bought the letters for 78,000 euros in a volume that the family carefully bound. “It simply came to our notice then. When they showed them to me, I was shocked., says Thierry Lage AFP. They have another scoop: both correspondents went together in their youth to Dover, the only known for the writer of the invasion of England.

As we read Proust, we realize how precious the Horace Finals are in helping to get rid of a person who enjoys his generosity. “He was bored at my house, and he became small twice or thrice escape where he unfortunately lost not only the fatness he had accumulated at home, but also all the money I had given him, which today would have brought in a small fortune (almost equivalent to mine), and which he had generously distributed. chickens”,» – mourns the novelist, embarrassed by his accounts of the tailor.

“It brings him closer to Albertina, who is offered dresses and other luxurious clothes.”explains Thierry Lager, referring to one of the central characters of Proust’s romantic suite. “He spends much more than Proust himself. He was a dandy who brought him nothing but this inspiration, a few women’s games and piano evenings..

Departure to Brazil

Finally, he finds a place in the French and Italian banks of South America, in Recife (northeastern Brazil). Proust is wary of a possible reversal of Roche. He writes that he intends to provide his last subsidies to the captain of the transatlantic ship so that he can hand them over to the Swiss as soon as he drops. Not earlier.

Swiss genealogists have followed in the footsteps of this man, who has an extremely common name. “We have not identified him yet. We don’t have a portrait of him either. But since we know that in Brazil he showed his photos with Proust, they could come out someday.according to Thierry Lage.

Although he has long been thought to be dead in Argentina, it has recently been discovered that he was near Parnaiba (northeastern Brazil), where he disappeared in 1923. Rosha took him to this tropical region with autographs. novels by Proust, who died in 1922.