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Lost Time Thursday: Imaginary Invalidism

The reason I now gave in my letters to Gilberte for refusing to see her was an allusion to some mysterious misunderstanding, wholly fictitious, which was supposed to have arisen between her and myself, and as to which I had hoped at first that Gilberte would demand an explanation [. . .] Gilberte never having questioned or sought to learn about this misunderstanding, it became for me a real entity, to which I referred anew in every letter. And there is in these baseless situations, in the affectation of coldness, a sort of fascination which tempts one to persevere in them. By dint of writing, "Now that our hearts are sundered," so that Gilberte might answer, "But they're not. Do let's talk it over," I had gradually come to believe that they were. By constantly repeating, "Life may have changed for us, but it will never destroy the feeling that we had for one another," in the hope of at last hearing the answer: "But there has been no change, the feeling is stronger now than it ever was," I was living with the idea that life had indeed changed, that we should keep the memory of the feeling which no longer existed, as certain neurotics, from having at first pretended to be ill, end by becoming chronic invalids.

- Within a Budding Grove, "Madame Swann at Home," p. 286

Little M. has been a little more than usually insufferable this week, but can I hold that against him? Not really. It was too long ago, and anyway, I've been worse. Teenagers aren't all terrible at relationships, but as you will learn if you read In Search of Lost Time, some of us were.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 24th, 2016 04:20 pm (UTC)
Oh man. I'm just imagining poor Gilberte reading these letters all "Wait, our hearts are sundered? Our hearts have been sundered and I didn't notice?" The poor girl is probably much too embarrassed to demand an explanation for this misunderstanding.
Mar. 24th, 2016 07:56 pm (UTC)
I know! D: I am pretty sure I have been in that exact situation, to be honest - afraid to offend further by asking what the hell this sundering is even about.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


blase ev

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