Odette's attitude toward Swann, then and now ("now" being page 332):
In those days, to everything he said, she would answer admiringly: "You — you will never be like anyone else"; she would look at his long face, his slightly bald head, about which the people who knew of Swann's successes with women would think: "He's not conventionally handsome, granted, but he is smart: that quiff of hair, that monocle, that smile!" and, perhaps with more curiosity to know what he was than desire to become his mistress, she would say: "If only I could know what is in that head!"From Swann's Way, translated by Lydia Davis (New York: Viking, 2002), 332
Now, to all of Swann's remarks she would reply in a tone that was at times irritated, at times indulgent: "Oh, you really never will be like anyone else!" She would look at that head, which was only a little more aged by worry (but about which now everyone thought, with that same aptitude which enables you to discover the intentions of a symphonic piece when you have read the program, and the resemblances of a child when you know its parents: "He's not positively ugly, granted, but he is absurd; that monocle, that quiff of hair, that smile!" creating in their suggestible imaginations the immaterial demarcation that separates by several months' distance the head of an adored lover from that of a cuckold), she would say: "Oh, if only I could change what's in that head, if only I could make it reasonable."
I didn't expect Swann's Way to be so funny. (Does anyone else see a resemblance to Jane Austen?)
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