CE27 - Culture, création, patrimoine

Marcel Proust's Correspondence, a laboratory for the creative process – CORR-PROUST_1907-1914

Submission summary

The CORR-PROUST 1907-1914 project aims to reconstruct the online archive of Marcel Proust’s creative process. A digital, revised and augmented edition of Proust’s letters during his most inventive period (1907-1914), connected to the digital archive of his manuscripts as well as to cultural and media archives of his era, will allow explorations of the multiple aspects of his creative work.
From his return to fiction-writing through a series of articles published in 1907, through the flourishing of his projects for essays and novels in 1908, to his earliest sketches for a narrative that had yet to find a shape, the reclusive novelist had to write letters in order to consult colleagues and acquaintances, to test ideas and phrases, to seek advice from trusted friends at various moments of the composition of his novel, and (since he rarely left his bed) to seek out information to document his work; around the publication of the first volume in late 1913, it was also through his letters that he arranged collaborations to manage the editorial process and oversee the novel’s reception in the press.
Working from the revised, augmented and annotated epistolary corpus of this creative period, the CORR-PROUST 1907-1914 project aims to produce richly encoded data that will enable researchers, through quantitative and qualitative search capabilities, to analyze the roles of various correspondents and the styles of their epistolary relations, to identify literary citations and borrowings from various textual sources, or to assess the impact of political and cultural events on Proust’s thought and writings. By shedding light on the emergence of a literary masterpiece through a variety of documents, linked through annotation and made searchable through encoding, the project will contribute to the diffusion of archives related to literary creation and to the future of digital humanities.

Project coordination

Francoise Leriche (Litt&Arts. Arts et pratiques du texte, de l'image, de l'écran et de la scène)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Victoria University of Wellington / School of Languages and Cultures
UIUC - Dept FRIT University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign / Department of French and Italian
ITEM Institut des Textes et Manuscrits Modernes
LinX Laboratoire interdisciplinaire de l'X
UIUC - Dept RBML University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign / Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Litt&Arts Litt&Arts. Arts et pratiques du texte, de l'image, de l'écran et de la scène

Help of the ANR 369,220 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2021 - 36 Months

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