Gallimard- a publisher in France- has announcedthe release of a recently rediscovered unpublished work by Marcel Proust.
Les Soixante-quinze feuillets, or The Seventy-Five Pages will be published on the 18th of March 2021.
The Seventy-Five Pages was written in 1908 as was part of a collection of papers kept by the publisher Bernard de Fallois. De Fallois had previously ensured the publication of several Proust works including Jean Santeuil, Proust’s first novel from the 1890s which the author had abandoned.
Within the foreword of Against Sainte-Beuve (1954), the publisher hinted at the existence of the unpublished papers. De Fallois described The Seventy-Five Pages as a “precious guide” to understanding In Search of Lost Time. The “logbook of his creation” includes six pieces Proust would later develop into his eventual masterwork.
The texts in The Seventy-Five Pages were so elusive that many scholars began to believe they did not even exist.
This week it was revealed that the papers had been found in archives passed down to the National Library of France by De Fallois after his death. Two unpublished works were donated by Suzy Mante-Proust, the French novelist’s niece, in 1949. One of the donated works, The Mysterious Correspondent, was published in 2019.
On the website, Gallimard calls The Seventy-Five Pages the “Proustian Grail”, describing the amazing find as a “thunderclap” in the literary world.
The publisher said the book would be an “essential piece of the puzzle”, with similar characters and scenes to other works.
“Through the reading keys that the writer seems to have left there, [it] gives access to the primitive Proustian crypt,” Gallimard said.