Marcel Proust's Tea Tin
Tea caddy litho
"Close your eyes. Plug your nose. Cover your ears. If you have any sense, stop it."
Agent Artie Nielson


Tea Tin


Involuntary Memory Recollection





Collected by

Warehouse 13







Date of Collection

4 December 1965


Origin Edit

Marcel Proust (1871-1922) was a French novelist who was considered to be one of the most influential writers of his time, known for his publication of the seven-volume book, In Search of Lost Time (previously known as Remembrance of Things Past), which explores Proust's own biography and philosophy, and his fascination with involuntary memory. The seven volumes (of which only four he was able to edit and publish before he died) contained about 3,200 pages and over 2000 different characters, and were heralded by his contemporaries.

One of the most well-known passages of In Search of Lost Time is known as "the madeleine episode," and concerns the main character biting into a madeleine, a small French spongecake, and suddenly experiencing a long-forgotten recollection of eating them as a child in his aunt's bedroom. This theme of sudden flashback inspired by innocuous sensory suggestion continues throughout In Search of Lost Time, and brings about the resolution in the final volume.

Proust was the first to name the sensation of involuntary memory, or recollection without conscious effort from everyday life, and has been honored in the phrases 'Proustian memory" and "Proust's madeleine," to describe brief, vivid, sense memories.

Effects Edit

From Proust's own collection of tea things, this tea tin was imbued with his internal focus and frequent bouts of isolation. Opening the tin creates an area of effect that inspires all those within it to enter immersive bouts of involuntary memory, during which time they are unaware of anything going on outside of themselves.

Closing the tin itself reverses all of it's effects, but any sensory stimulation has been known to activate a memory in victims and distract them. Thus, this artifact is very hard to deactivate and is considered highly dangerous.

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