Proust’s life on the small screen. Memory, myth and materiality in Portrait-Souvenir: Marcel Proust (1962)
On the occasion of the centenary of the writer’s death, the present article wishes to return to the myth of Proust’s “parallel lives”, as theorized by Roland Barthes in 1966 following the publication of George Painter’s famous biography. More specifically, we shall place our reading at the border of Proustian studies and media studies, in order to comment on the impact and genesis of Roger Stéphane and Gérard Herzog’s program Portrait-Souvenir: Marcel Proust, broadcast in 1962. This program, in fact, is at the very confluence of the revival of Proust criticism, which began in the 1950s with the publications of Jean Santeuil and Contre Sainte-Beuve, and the television culture of the 1960s, where the lives of writers are becoming an increasingly mediatized subject thanks to new quality programs. Finally, we will see that the greatest interest of this televisual “portrait”, whose different audiovisual paradigms we will study, is undoubtedly to make the image of Proust more accessible and more concrete, notably thanks to the testimony of Céleste Albaret and the showing of the author’s manuscripts.