A Night at the Majestic: Proust and the Great Modernist Dinner Party of 1922
18 May 1922, five of the greatest artists of the twentieth century met for supper at the Hotel Majestic in Paris. It was the first and only time that Joyce, Proust, Picasso, Diaghilev and Stravinsky were in a room together. Each was at the height of his creative powers, and Proust was enjoying the greatest success of his career with his sequence of books, A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. That night at the Majestic signalled the close of an era as well as the beginning of the decline in Proust’s health.
In this, Richard Davenport-Hines paints a vivid picture of the modernist movement in early 20th century Paris, the gossip, intrigue and scandal. Each of the diners come to life, but it is the sympathetic portrayal of Proust, his almost obsessive quest for perfection in his work, and the account of his final days that really make this well researched book such a great read. An extensive list of sources together with an excellent index completes this fine work.