Proof Page from Autour de Madame Swann

      This account left me indifferent. I was quite indifferent to all that. I loved Gilberte enough too much for me not to find a closer relationship with Swann desirable, even if it did look somewhat shameful. But it was no such thing, such a relationship seemed to me to be something extravagantly brilliant, not through the effect of my love but from some bygone impression. Ever since Combray I could have seen Swann surrounded by street ruffians without him ever ceasing for me to be a man of elegance, just as Bloch could never have appeared to me to be one even if he had entertained all the highest society. And as for the affection which M. de Norpois told us was displayed by Odette towards her husband, I knew that it was only the renewal after long storms of that which she had felt for him when he had stopped loving her. And it must be said that no longer being jealous he now expressed his affection more considerately and better understood that of Odette.
   His friends had begun one more to receive letters from Swann in which he asked them to put him in touch some or other person. He no longer worried himself over Odette’s behaviour. The extreme grief that he had undergone in days gone by seemed to have completely cauterized that part of his brain in which he might have thought it about it and which no longer inculcated him. He retreated from the effort of memory that it would have taken to reignite his jealousy and he no longer put himself through such suffering; he was like an artist who no longer produces any work because of creative lethargy. He sometimes told himself that he should however have given Odette some guidance, but at the same time he felt the lassitude, the inability to think that is felt by someone who has not eaten for several days and after a vague, fruitless desire, felt it wiser to spare himself unnecessary fatigue in futile convolutions. Just as his body had become worn out, as his mind had aged, it was not enough as it had been in the past to rub his eyes and wipe his monocle, now he would repeat two or three times: “In the end, I don’t really care” as he bowed his head and shrugged one shoulder. Yet in the pleasure that he was going to seek on his part, in the company of other women, something was missing. And when he saw a light in Odette's bedroom window from below on his return home, if he came back early [...] And so he was content to see Odette again on his return home.

Single page corrected proof, from Le Manuscrit Français.


Return to Front Page

Created 30.07.20