Thursday, August 8, 2013

Embalmed in its vesture of gold

At the end of Volume II, Within a Budding Grove, Marcel and his grandmother are the last to leave the Balbec resort at the end of the season. Albertine slipped away without saying goodbye. Marcel feels numbed by the change that even the sunlight of a new day does not please him.

"And when Francoise removed the pins from the top of the window-frame, took down the cloths, and drew back the curtains, the summer day which she disclosed seemed as dead, as immemorial, as a sumptuous millenary mummy from which our old servant had done no more than cautiously unwind the linen wrappings before displaying it, embalmed in its vesture of gold."