"he dined with Proust and Gide"

Marcel Proust (1871-1922) was a French novelist, essayist and literary critic, best known for his 7-volume, semi-autobiographical novel, À la recherche du temps perdu (sometimes translated as In Search of Lost Time, sometimes as Remembrance of Things Past).

In Search of Lost Time on Book Drum

André Gide (1869-1951) was a wide-ranging and sometimes controversial French author who wrote novels, critical works, autobiography and travel books. He won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947.