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Anna de Noailles (1876-1933)
and Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

Born into a Greek and Rumanian family who chose to live in France, Anna de Noailles is at once a French and a Francophone writer. Along with a cosmopolitan background, she and I share a similar landscape since she spent several years of her childhood on the shores of Lake Geneva, though on the opposite side from Lausanne, at Amphion, close to Évian.


Nowadays Anna de Noailles is known mostly through her literary friends, among whom Marcel Proust, shown here on a picture taken at Amphion in 1899 (Proust is in the center back, Noailles on the far right, her sister Hélène in front).




This photograph may be found in Claude Mignot-Ogliastri's thoroughly researched biography, Anna de Noailles: une amie de la Princesse Edmond de Polignac (Paris: Méridiens-Klincksieck, 1986). It is also displayed in the January 1997 issue of Le Magazine littéraire and in William Carter's definitive biography, Marcel Proust: A Life (Yale UP, 2000).


Here is a clearer picture of Marcel Proust, one of the most captivating writers in French literary history:  

and his signature:

Both pictures come from the Kolb-Proust Archive

Visit also the Bulletin Marcel Proust

Visit my new website on Anna de Noailles, where you will find more information on her life and work as well as excerpts of her writings.

Read selections in English
of Proust's letters to Noailles

Of equal interest to Noailles' biography
   are the writer's hands, or her art:

This photograph belongs
to the Bibliothèque Nationale.


In 1913, the Basque artist Ignacio de Zuloaga
painted a sumptuous portrait of Anna de Noailles:

When traveling to Spain, don't miss
the original at the Museum of Bilbao




If Zuloaga was somewhat
reverent toward Noailles . . .


. . . her friend Jean Cocteau
wasn't in the least!

(picture drawn in 1929)

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 1989