Haas, Charles (1832-1902)
Charles Haas was the quintessence of chic in manners, gestures, and wardrobe, the incarnation of a wealthy society man who belonged not only to the highly selective Cercle de la rue Royale, but also to the ultra-snob Jockey Club, of which he was the only Jewish member. In 1868, he was named Inspector General of Historical Monuments. He received a medal for his role in the Franco-Prussian war. Charles Swann's military record is similar to Haas's. Sarah Bernhardt was among his amorous conquests. Proust met him around 1890 in Geneviève Straus's salon. Haas's relationship with his daughter Lusita is similar in significant ways to that of Swann's with Gilberte. Mme Straus noticed the similarities between Swann and Haas, made evident by her habit of referring to the fictional character as "Swann-Haas." In a letter to Gabriel Astruc, written in December 1913, shortly after the publication of Du côté de chez Swann, Proust denied having portrayed anyone from life, with the exception of a few monocles, because he was "too lazy " to write anything that merely "duplicated reality!" Haas, he allowed, "was the departure point for my Swann."
See Correspondance 12: 387
See Photo Gallery.
Harrison, Thomas Alexander (1853-1930)
American expatriate painter whom Proust met in France when Proust and Reynaldo Hahn were vacationing in the Brittany seaside resort of Beg-Meil. Harrison is the principal inspiration for the writer known only as "C" in Jean Santeuil and hence a distant but important source for the fictional painter Elstir in In Search of Lost Time.