At seven volumes and about 1.5 million words, it dwarfs M-D (about 209,000 words). Students complain about M-D's Cetology chapter—Temps Perdu seems to carry Melville's "detail-oriented" approach beyond the limits of human endurance! So I have to wonder, did Proust read Moby-Dick? Was Melville an influence on "the major novel of the twentieth century" (Harold Bloom)?
Looks like probably not. According to Critical Synoptics: Menippean Satire and the Analysis of Intellectual Mythology by Carter Kaplan, "The first French translation of Moby-Dick was not published until 1941." That's nineteen years after Proust's death. So unless Proust was an accomplished reader of English, there's no way. Alas, a review of Proust's English (2005) in the New Yorker states:
Proust did not speak English, and read it only with difficulty (though he translated Ruskin, with much help from others).It appears (according to Wikipedia) that Proust's influences were of the "old world": Saint-Simon, Montaigne, Stendhal, Flaubert, George Eliot, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Leo Tolstoy.
Regarding another favorite "detail-oriented" novel, the question arises: Could Joyce's Ulysses have been influenced by Moby-Dick, or by Temps Perdu?