Extracts from The Chap Almanac: An Esoterick Yearbook for the Decadent Gentleman by Vic Darkwood and Gustav Temple.
On 1st January 1909, Marcel Proust was reading in bed when he dipped a piece of toast into a glass of tea and remembered something he’d left behind in his childhood. Thus began a vast literary project that would run into a million and a quarter words and occupy the inert author until the day he died. Proust had discovered a novel way of accessing 39 years’ worth of memories and converting them into fiction, so there wasn’t much need for him to do anything else. Why run about creating new memories, when the old ones are simply stored away conveniently in the subconscious? It was simply a matter of retrieving them, and all one needed was time. Proust lost no time in converting his bedroom at 102 Boulevard Haussmann, Paris, into a hive of inactivity, remaining in bed for the next 12 years to write Remembrance of Things Past.