Marcel Proust was a famous French writer and a celebrated recluse. The author of In Search of Lost Time spent a number of years in an apartment on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris until his death. He rarely went out. Proust suffered from crippling asthma and was said to have been acutely affected by the deaths of his parents and retreated into himself. He soundproofed his workroom with corkboard and put up layers of heavy curtains to blot out daylight so that he could work uninterrupted. He would stay up for days on end, working on his masterpiece, desperate to complete it before his death.[
Nevertheless, time caught up with Proust, and the final three volumes of In Search of Lost Time were left in “an advanced but not final stage of revision.”
Proust died in 1922 in his apartment. Though he did not finish his seminal work completely, the final volumes were sufficiently complete to be published after his death, and the novel has become one of the most important pieces of literature in the world.