Historicizing, democratizing, mythologizing: Different uses of Proust on the museum and cultural stage
If the passion of Proust for arts and museums is no longer in doubt, there is still exploration left to do concerning the growing Proustomania for which numerous cultural establishments show an interest, from the creation of the Museum of Marcel Proust in Illiers-Combray in 1971 till the very recent opening of the Villa du temps retrouvé found in Cabourg in July 2021. Many exhibition curators and officers in charge of the cultural policy of the country, including Norman lands, saw in Recherche an inexhaustible collection of inspiration and exhibitions. Has Proust consequently turned into a museum one hundred years after his birth? Would it be possible that, beyond the real figure of the writer, a mythical and aesthetically pleasing figure of Proust has formed itself as exhibitions go by? By combining aesthetic analysis, art history and field survey, we will analyze this “Proust effect” upon the cultural and aesthetic French scene that we will analyze through the exploration of museums and emblematic places of this appropriation of the Proustian work and the figure of the writer.