A professor from the Sorbonne, Brichot is a visitor among the “faithful” who gather at Mme. Verdurin’s:
At Mme. Verdurin’s, he made a point of seeking his illustrations in whatever was most up-to-date when he spoke of philosophy and history, principally because he thought such subjects were only a preparation for real life and he imagined he would find the little clan putting into practice what he had known before now only from books, and then perhaps also because, having had instilled in him in the past, and having preserved without knowing it, a respect for certain subjects, he believed he was casting off his academic tendencies by taking liberties with them which, on the contrary, appeared such to him only because he had remained an academic.
From Swann's Way, translated by Lydia Davis (New York: Viking, 2002), 261
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