Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Proust: "the self-identity of things"

An interesting passage to think about in relation to those rooms in which things always look the same — this lamp here, that vase there:

I became more clearly aware of my own transformations by contrasting them with the self-identity of things. Yet we become accustomed to these as we do to people, and when, suddenly, we recall the different meaning that they carried, and then, once they had lost all meaning, the events, very different from those of today, for which they had been the setting, the diversity of the actions performed beneath the same ceiling, between the same glass-fronted bookcases, the change in our hearts and in our lives which that diversity implies seems further enhanced by the immutable permanence of the décor, reinforced by the unity of place.

Marcel Proust, Sodom and Gomorrah, translated by John Sturrock (New York: Penguin, 2002), 510

All Proust posts

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