Remembrance: Marcel Proust #56

Remembrance: Marcel Proust

Moments from
“Remembrance of Things Past”


“But even with respect
to the most insignificant things in life,
none of us constitutes a material whole,
identical for everyone,
which a person has only to go
look up as though we were a book
of specifications
or a last testament;
our social personality
is a creation
of the minds of others.

Even the very simple act
that we call “seeing a person we know”
is in part an intellectual one.

We fill the physical appearance
of the individual
we see with all the notions
we have about him,
and of the total picture
that we form for ourselves,
these notions
certainly occupy
the greater part.

In the end
they swell his cheeks
so perfectly,
follow the line
of his nose
in an adherence so exact,
they do so well
at nuancing
the sonority of his voice
as though the latter
were only a transparent envelope
that each time we see this face
and hear this voice,
it is these notions
that we encounter again,
that we hear.”

― Marcel Proust
Marcel_Proust_(Père_Lachaise) side by side hotel - grave

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