Jean Santeuil Preface Manuscript

   Having spent the autumn of 189. with one of my friends at the little beach of T. in Brittany where at that time there was nothing but one inn large enough for painters and tourists

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   Finding myself in the month of September 1895 with one of my friends at a farm in T. in Brittany, I learned that one of the people who breakfasted and dined not far away from us at the long table set up under an outhouse (because at that time T. consisted only of one single farm, hidden under apple trees, in front of the sea, far away from any other of the villages, it had already become a comfortable hotel but its owner had neither changed its name nor its farm-like appearance on the advice of the painters who came back every year, staying for the whole season and paying him in sketches, having entered sufficiently into his favour to have the right to help him make his fortune), a person 

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   This hotel an ancient farm is on a golden slope planted with apple trees that went down to the sea. Behind the farm sits the terrace, the thickly wooded hill leaving only one or two metres of even ground suddenly rising up sharply. So that if the hotel is sheltered like this from the wind this little spot situated behind buildings where a stream runs and which never receives any sunshine downstream from the hill remained eternally damp.

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   I had come to spend the month of September 188. with one of my friends at T., today a small Breton station but which at that time consisted of nothing more than a single farm hidden beneath apple trees at the edge of the sea. The closest village was one league away. In order to go and take the train to Quimper it took two hours by boat and then two hours by carriage. This farm had become a much visited hotel but its proprietor however had kept the name of the farm and the same outward appearance. This he had done on the advice of painters who, coming back every year, staying late in the season, and leaving him their paintings when they were unable to pay, had come much earlier than the other guests and were sufficiently struck by his friendliness to expand his tastes and to make his fortune. We also took excellent lunches which had all the outward appearance of false simplicity underneath the apple trees on long rustic tables looking out over the sea. In the evening meals were taken in an outhouse from which we had the same view of the sea. When the weather took a turn for the worse meals were taken in a very large and well heated dining room.

From Gallica, NAF 16615 2r - 3r and 5r.

 


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Last updated 16.03.18