Remembrance: Marcel Proust #57

Remembrance: Marcel Proust

Moments from
“Remembrance of Things Past”


“The novelist’s happy discovery
was to think of substituting
for those opaque sections,
impenetrable by the human spirit,
their equivalent in immaterial sections,
things, that is,
which the spirit
can assimilate to itself.

After which it matters not
that the actions,
the feelings of this new order
of creatures appear to us
in the guise of truth,
since we have made them
our own,
since it is in ourselves
that they are happening,
that they are holding in thrall,
while we turn over,
the pages of the book,
our quickened breath
and staring eyes.

And once the novelist
has brought us to that state,
in which,
as in all purely mental states,
every emotion is multiplied ten-fold,
into which his book
comes to disturb us
as might a dream,
but a dream more lucid,
and of a more lasting impression
than those which come to us in sleep;
why, then,
for the space of an hour
he sets free within us all
the joys and sorrows
in the world,
a few of which,
only, we should have to spend years
of our actual life
in getting to know,
and the keenest,
the most intense
of which
would never have been revealed
to us
because the slow course
of their development
stops our perception of them.”

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

One thought on “Remembrance: Marcel Proust #57


    Fruits fresh from much foraging
    Picked out and picked over
    For browsing, brooding, brewing
    Through fermenting, evaporation
    Concentration and distillation

    The initial insipid tipple
    Of the mundane commonplace
    Emerges new born from the nib
    Or more likely these days
    The fingertips and screen

    Fortified and now 100 proof
    So savour slowly this potent elixir
    That our writer has pored over
    And now pours for us freely
    So pause and drink their health


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