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Eur Respir J. 2000 May;15(5):958-60.

Marcel Proust (1871-1922): reassessment of his asthma and other maladies.

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USC School of Medicine, LAC+USC Medical Centre, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.


Marcel Proust endured severe allergies and bronchial asthma from early childhood. Those who suffer from the frightening and recurrent pangs of asthma often become dependent on their parents particularly mother; Proust was no exception. In his time asthma was poorly understood by physicians who considered the illness to be a type of hysteria. Decades later, we now understand that the severe, poorly controlled, suffocating episodes of asthma were responsible for the complex persona that Marcel Proust had assumed.

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