Thursday, August 16, 2012

The inner darkroom of our mind

Marcel has just met Albertine, and delays his elation until he can be alone.

'This is not to say that the introduction which followed did not give me any pleasure and did not assume a certain solemnity in my eyes. But so far as the pleasure was concerned, I was naturally not conscious of it until some time later, when, back at the hotel, and in my room alone, I had become myself again. Pleasure in this respect is like photography. What we take, in the presence of the beloved object, is merely a negative, which we develop later, when we are back at home, and have once again found at our disposal that inner darkroom, the entrance to which is barred to us so long as we are with other people."

The state of our own soul

Marcel sees Albertine and her circle of friends one day on the boardwalk, and his interest in them is piqued by the unlikely event that they will ever meet. Still, his imagination creates a personality for her and over days he falls in love with the image he has made for her.

"I had guessed long ago, in the Champs-Elysées, and had verified since, that when we are in love with a woman we simply project on to her a state of our own soul; that consequently the important thing is not the worth of the woman but the profundity of the state."