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Albertine Understood?

Posted 9/18/2014 7:57pm by Eugene Wyatt.

These reflections made me discover a stronger and more accurate sense of the truth of which I had often had a presentiment, notably when Mme. de Cambremer was surprised that I could abandon a remarkable man like Elstir for the sake of Albertine.

Even from the intellectual point of view I felt she was wrong but I did not know that what she was misunderstanding were the lessons through which one makes one's apprenticeship as a man of letters.

The objective value of the arts has little say in the matter; what it is necessary to extract and bring to light are our sentiments, our passions, which are the sentiments and passions of all men.

A woman we need makes us suffer, forces from us a series of sentiments, deeper and more vital than a superior type of man who interests us.

It remains to be seen, according to the plane on which we live, whether we shall discover that the pain the infidelity of a woman has caused us is a trifle when compared with the truths thereby revealed to us, truths that the woman delighted at having made us suffer would hardly have grasped.

In any case, such infidelities are not rare.

A writer need have no fear of undertaking a long labour.

Let the intellect get to work; in the course of it there will be more than enough sorrows to enable him to finish it.

Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible.

Le Temps Retrouvé, Marcel Proust (posthumous); translated by Stephen Hudson  as Time Regained in 1931, (my emphasis).

I realized, as Proust does, that suffering has a much longer duration than love, but I wonder about "unhappiness", does suffering make love possible?