The Daudet family was composed of the father, Alphonse, the mother Julia (née Allard), Léon, the older brother, Edmée, and Lucien. Every member of the family wrote books: father, mother, brother, sister, sister-in-law (Marthe Allard under the pseudonym of “Pampille”) and uncle (Ernest Daudet). Lucien himself published about fifteen books.
Cultivated, “very beautiful, very elegant, a thin and frail young man, with a tender and a somewhat effeminate face”, according to Jean-Yves Tadié, Daudet lived a fashionable life which made him meet Marcel Proust. They shared at least a friendship (if not a sexual relationship), which was revealed by Jean Lorrain in his chronicle in the Journal. It is for this indiscretion that Proust and Lorrain fought a duel in 1897.
Lucien Daudet was also a painter. After having taken lessons at the Académie Julian, he was a pupil of Whistler and had an exposition together with Bernheim-Jeune in 1906. His tableaux are not known anymore except by literary allusions to them (correspondence of Proust; catalogue by Anna de Noailles).
Marcel Proust (seated), Robert de Flers (left) and Lucien Daudet (right), ca. 1894 (©4)
Lucien Daudet was a French writer, the son of Alphonse Daudet. He is now primarily remembered for his ties to fellow novelist Marcel Proust. Daudet was also friends with Jean Cocteau. Cultivated, “very beautiful, very elegant, a thin and frail young man, with a tender and a somewhat effeminate face”, according to Jean-Yves Tadié, Daudet lived a fashionable life which made him meet Marcel Proust. They shared at least a friendship, which was revealed by Jean Lorrain in his chronicle in the Journal. It is for this indiscretion that Proust and Lorrain fought a duel in 1897.
Reynaldo Hahn (1874 - 1947) was a Venezuelan, naturalised French, composer, conductor, music critic, diarist, theatre director, and salon singer. In 1894 Hahn met the then-unknown writer Marcel Proust. Their love affair was Proust's first, and Proust later stated that "Everything I have ever done has always been thanks to Reynaldo." Proust began to write it in 1895. Although by 1896 they were no longer lovers, they remained lifelong friends and supporters until Proust's death in 1922.
All his life, Daudet was overshadowed by his father in literature ("I am the son of a man whose celebrity and talent count for several generations, I remain under his shade"), and by Whistler in painting ("He gave me a certain taste in painting, but also very great contempt for that which is not of first rank... and I apply this contempt to what I make.")
Towards the end of his life, in 1943, he married Marie-Thérèse, the younger sister of Pierre Benoit.
Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust (10 July 1871 – 18 November 1922) was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time; earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past). It was published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927.
Proust was born in Auteuil (the southern sector of Paris' then-rustic 16th arrondissement) at the home of his great-uncle, two months after the Treaty of Frankfurt formally ended the Franco-Prussian War. His birth took place during the violence that surrounded the suppression of the Paris Commune, and his childhood corresponds with the consolidation of the French Third Republic. Much of In Search of Lost Time concerns the vast changes, most particularly the decline of the aristocracy and the rise of the middle classes that occurred in France during the Third Republic and the fin de siècle.
Proust's father, Achille Adrien Proust, was a prominent pathologist and epidemiologist, responsible for studying and attempting to remedy the causes and movements of cholera through Europe and Asia; he was the author of many articles and books on medicine and hygiene. Proust's mother, Jeanne Clémence Weil, was the daughter of a rich and cultured Jewish family from Alsace. She was literate and well-read; her letters demonstrate a well-developed sense of humour, and her command of English was sufficient for her to provide the necessary assistance to her son's later attempts to translate John Ruskin.
By the age of nine, Proust had his first serious asthma attack, and thereafter he was considered a sickly child. Proust spent long holidays in the village of Illiers. This village, combined with recollections of his great-uncle's house in Auteuil, became the model for the fictional town of Combray, where some of the most important scenes of In Search of Lost Time take place. (Illiers was renamed Illiers-Combray on the occasion of the Proust centenary celebrations.)
In 1882, at the age of eleven, Proust became a pupil at the Lycée Condorcet, but his education was disrupted because of his illness. Despite this he excelled in literature, receiving an award in his final year. It was through his classmates that he was able to gain access to some of the salons of the upper bourgeoisie, providing him with copious material for In Search of Lost Time.
Despite his poor health, Proust served a year (1889–90) as an enlisted man in the French army, stationed at Coligny Barracks in Orléans, an experience that provided a lengthy episode in The Guermantes' Way, part three of his novel. As a young man, Proust was a dilettante and a social climber whose aspirations as a writer were hampered by his lack of discipline. His reputation from this period, as a snob and an amateur, contributed to his later troubles with getting Swann's Way, the first part of his large-scale novel, published in 1913. At this time, he attended the salons of Mme Straus, widow of Georges Bizet and mother of Proust's childhood friend Jacques Bizet, and of Mme Arman de Caillavet, one of the models of Madame Verdurin, and mother of his friend Gaston Arman de Caillavet, whose fiancée (Jeanne Pouquet) he was in love with. It is through Mme Arman de Caillavet that he made the acquaintance of Anatole France, her lover.
Proust had a close relationship with his mother. To appease his father, who insisted that he pursue a career, Proust obtained a volunteer position at the Bibliothèque Mazarine in the summer of 1896. After exerting considerable effort, he obtained a sick leave that extended for several years until he was considered to have resigned. He never worked at his job, and he did not move from his parents' apartment until after both were dead.
Proust, who was a closeted (although obvious) homosexual, was one of the first European novelists to mention homosexuality openly and at length in the parts of À la recherche du temps perdu which deal with the Baron de Charlus.
His life and family circle changed considerably between 1900 and 1905. In February 1903, Proust's brother Robert married and left the family home. His father died in November of the same year. Finally, and most crushingly, Proust's beloved mother died in September 1905. She left him a considerable inheritance. His health throughout this period continued to deteriorate.
Proust spent the last three years of his life mostly confined to his cork-lined bedroom, sleeping during the day and working at night to complete his novel. He died of pneumonia and a pulmonary abscess in 1922. He was buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
Remembrance of Things Past. Yup, I'm one of Those. The only masterpiece of this book's scale that I reread and reread is Murasaki's “Tale of Genji”. The Shining Prince has only ONE gay encounter with the brother of a woman who refuses to spend the night with our hero...one night of same-sex bliss does not a "gay" novel make, alas. M. Proust may have changed Albert to Albertine; and, like so many French writers and film makers, will (maddeningly) confuse obsession with love; and, as Beckett says: "The Proustian equation is never simple." However, his work is sublime and never ceases to inspire me. It is also a gold mine of phrases worth stealing.... --Vincent Virga
Swann's Way. Proust himself, the narrator, experiences an attraction to the melancholy, unfortunate Swann, but the larger part of this work concerns the heterosexual loves of Swann himself. Besides Proust being gay, there is a lesbian couple mentioned in it, and the overall sensibility of the book is very much about the nature of love, so I declare that it qualifies as Gay Novel. Besides, the prose is so beautiful (try the newer Penguin translations) that I'll take any flimsy excuse to recommend it. It's about as gay as a successful book could be in the 1800s. --Kyell Gold
Most of the doctors writing about inversion in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries adopted a related approach by conceptualizing fairies (as well as lesbians or "lady lovers") as a "third sex" or an "intermediate sex" between men and women, rather than as men or women who were also "homosexuals".Reynaldo Hahn (August 9, 1874 – January 28, 1947) was a Venezuelan, naturalised French, composer, conductor, music critic, diarist, theatre director, and salon singer. Best known as a composer of songs, he wrote in the French classical tradition of the mélodie. The fine craftsmanship, remarkable beauty, and originality of his works capture the insouciance of la belle époque.
Most gay intellectuals writing in Europe and the United States shared this perspective. In the 1860s, Karl Ulrichs, the first German writer (and for decades the only openly "inverted" man) to discuss inversion in a public form, did not define it in the same terms now used for homosexuality, but characterized the Urning (his term for an invert) as representing a "woman's spirit in a man's body". At the turn of the century, many of the next generation of gay intellectuals, including Edward Carpenter in Britain and Magnus Hirschfeld in Germany, adopted a version of this theory, claiming that they were best characterized as a "third sex" or an "intermediate sex" (the loose but popular translation of sexuelle Zwischenstufe), hermaphroditically combining psychic qualities of both the male and female. This was also the distinction made by Marcel Proust in his classic account of inversion, the Sodom and Gomorrah volume of Remembrance of Things Past. --Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 by George Chauncey
In 1894 Hahn met the then-unknown writer Marcel Proust. Their love affair was Proust's first, and Proust later stated that "Everything I have ever done has always been thanks to Reynaldo."
Reynaldo Hahn was born in Caracas, Venezuela, the youngest of twelve children. Reynaldo's father Carlos was an affluent engineer, inventor, and businessman of German-Jewish extraction; his mother, Elena María de Echenagucia, was a Venezuelan of Spanish, (Basque) origin, and as most wealthy families descended from Spanish colonists in that country. The increasingly volatile political atmosphere in South America during the 1870s caused his father to retire and leave Venezuela.
Hahn's family moved to Paris when he was three years old. Although he showed interest in his native music of Caracas in his youth, France would "determine and define Hahn's musical identity in later life". The city and its cultural resources: the Paris Opéra, the Paris Opéra Ballet, the Opéra-Comique, in addition to the nexus of artists and writers, proved an ideal setting for the precocious Hahn.
A child prodigy, Reynaldo made his début at the salon of the eccentric Princess Mathilde (Napoleon's niece), accompanying himself on the piano as he sang arias by Jacques Offenbach. At the age of eight, Hahn composed his first songs.
Despite the Paris Conservatoire's tradition of antipathy towards child prodigies—Franz Liszt had famously been rebuffed by the school many years before—Hahn entered the school at the age of ten. His teachers included Jules Massenet, Charles Gounod, Camille Saint-Saëns and Émile Descombes. Alfred Cortot and Maurice Ravel were fellow students.
In 1888 Reynaldo composed "Si mes vers avaient des ailes" to a poem by Victor Hugo; it was an instant success when published by Le Figaro. From this exposure and publicity, Hahn came into contact with many leading artists in Paris (in addition to the relationships he cultivated at the Conservatoire). The famed soprano Sybil Sanderson and the writer Alphonse Daudet invited Hahn into their social sphere. Hahn had "a special gift" of attracting "important people to his side".
Like many other French song composers of the time, Hahn was attracted to Hugo's poetry. Many of the hallmarks of Hahn's music are already evident in "Si mes vers": the undulating piano accompaniment, the vocal line derived from the patterns and intimacy of speech, the surprising intervals and cadences, the cleverly placed mezza voce, and the sophistication and depth of feeling—all the more impressive because he was only thirteen when he composed it.
Paul Verlaine, another poet whose lyrics inspired many of Reynaldo's most beautiful songs, had on one occasion a chance to hear the young composer's settings of his poems (which Hahn entitled Chansons grises, begun in 1887 when Hahn was twelve years old and finished three years later). The poet "wept to hear Hahn's songs". "L'heure exquise", from Chansons, was undoubtedly one of the songs that brought tears to Verlaine's eyes. With its flowing piano accompaniment, gentle melody, and ingenious modulations, Hahn captured the limpid and languid beauty of its text. The poet Stéphane Mallarmé, also present, wrote the following stanza:
Le pleur qui chante au langageBy the age of nineteen in 1894, Hahn had written many songs about love; however, his worldly sophistication masked shyness about his own personal feelings. He had close intimate friendships with women, and they were clearly fond of the gallant and charming young composer. Cléopatre-Diane de Mérode, a famous beauty of le beau monde and three years older than Hahn, inspired him to write: "I worship her as a great and perfect work of art". Despite this tribute to her, he reportedly loved her only at a distance his whole life. The famed courtesan Liane de Pougy referred to Hahn in her diary as the "sweetness in her life." Though close friends, their relationship ended when de Pougy married. Hahn famously told her: "Goodbye Lianon. I hate married people." Hahn was a closeted homosexual, even though in his personal letters he was frequently critical of homosexuals and homosexuality.
Du poète, Reynaldo
Hahn, tendrement le dégage
Comme en l'allée un jet d'eau.
1894 was to prove a fateful year for Hahn. At the home of artist Madeleine Lemaire, he met an aspiring writer three years older than himself. The writer was the then little-known, "highly strung and snobby" Marcel Proust. Proust and Hahn shared a love for painting, literature, and Fauré. They became lovers and often travelled together and collaborated on various projects. One of those projects, Portraits de peintres (1896), is a work consisting of spoken text with piano accompaniment.
Hahn honed his writing skills during this period, becoming one of the best critics on music and musicians. Seldom appreciating his contemporaries, he instead admired the artists of the past (shown in his portraits of legendary figures). His writing, like Proust's, was characterised by a deft skill in depicting small details.
Proust's unfinished autobiographical novel Jean Santeuil, posthumously published and, by some, considered ill-structured, nevertheless shows nascent genius and foreshadows his masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu. Proust began to write it in 1895, one year after meeting Hahn. Although by 1896 they were no longer lovers, they remained lifelong friends and supporters until Proust's death in 1922. (They are buried in the same division at Père Lachaise Cemetery).
In 1909, Hahn became a French citizen. In 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, he volunteered for service in the French Army. He was older than the official conscription age but was accepted and served, first as a private, finally reaching the rank of corporal. While at the front he composed a song cycle based on poems by Robert Louis Stevenson.
As a conductor Hahn specialised in Mozart, conducting the initial performances of the Salzburg Festival at the invitation of Lilli Lehmann when the festival was revived after World War I. He also served in the 1920s and 1930s as general manager of the Cannes Casino opera house. For many years he was the influential music critic of the leading Paris daily, Le Figaro.
Forced to leave Paris in 1940 during the Nazi occupation, he returned at the end of the war in 1945 to fulfill his appointment as director of the Paris Opéra. He died in 1947 of a brain tumor, without executing the reforms for which his supporters had hoped.
Hahn was given the score of George Bizet's unperformed Symphony in C by the composer's widow. Hahn in turn deposited the score in the library of the Paris Conservatory, where it was discovered in 1933 and given its first performance in 1935.
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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