c.1892: Marcel Proust playing air guitar on a tennis racket
There is no record that Proust ever played the guitar, but the literary savant probably played tennis.
Actually Marcel Proust drew freely from musical works in order to cross-breed and transcribe them into novels – he uses music to transport the reader into various access points of memory, and writes in a very musical manner, cross-referencing themes, moving back and forth through time.
Vinteuil is the fictitious composer to whom Proust refers throughout À la recherche du temps perdu. But we know that it was in fact the amalgam of several composers who deeply influenced and affected the writer.
Composer Jorge Arriagad attempted to realise Vinteuil’s violin sonata for this scene in Raoul Ruiz’s 1999 film Le Temps retrouvé (Time Regained), which takes its title from the final book of À la recherche du temps perdu, but dips liberally into the entire novel. This scene replicates the kind of private salon gathering at which Vinteuil’s music would have been performed in the world of Proust’s novel.