Author: Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust
Dates: 10 July 1871 – 18 November 1922
Title of Book: Sodom and Gomorrah
As we know, well before going that day (the day when the Princesse de Guermantes’s soirée was taking place) to pay the call on the Duc and Duchesse that I have just recounted, I had been watching out for their return and had, in the course of my vigil, made a discovery, involving M. de Charles in particular, but so significant in itself that up until now, when I am able to give it the position and dimensions it requires, I have put off reporting it. I had, as I have said, abandoned the splendid vantage point, so comfortably installed at the top of the house, from where you can take in the uneven inclines by which assent is made to the de Bréquigny hotel, gaily ornamented in the Italian style by the pink campanile of the coach house belonging to the Marquis de Frécourt. I had found it more practical, once I thought that the Duc and Duchesse were on the point of returning, to station myself on the staircase. I a little regretted ending my sojourn on high. But at this hour of the day, which was that following lunch, I had less cause for regret, for I would not have seen, as in the morning, the footmen from the de Bréquigny and de Tresmes hotel, reduced by the distance to tiny figures in a painting making their slow ascent of the abrupt rise, feather duster in hand, between large sheets of transparent mica that stood out so pleasingly against the red foothills. Lacking the perspective of the geologist, I at least had that of the botanist, and gazed through the shutters on the stairs at the Duchesse’s small shrub and the precious plant, exhibited in the courtyard with that insistence with which marriageable young are thrust forward, and I wondered whether, by some providential chance, the improbable insect would come visit the tendered and forlorn pistil.
Brief Biography: Proust was a novelist and essayist. He is best known for his monumental novel, In Search of Lost Time, which was published in seven parts.