Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Love and hate and Proust

Gilberte Swann made her first appearance in these pages last year. Here she is again, in a sentence from Swann’s Way that captures the sort of self-division that will come to shape the narrator’s relationships with women throughout In Search of Lost Time. The narrator has just seen Gilberte for the first time:

I thought her so beautiful that I wished I could retrace my steps and shout at her with a shrug of my shoulders, “I think you’re ugly, I think you’re grotesque, I hate you!”

From Swann’s Way, translated by Lydia Davis (New York: Viking, 2002), 145

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