Manuscript fragment

   In the past if I noticed a young girl on the roads of Balbec or in the streets in Paris that I could not find again later, I made a lie of her individuality, telling myself that I could find another one, to be sure I told myself that one day perhaps I could find another Albertine. But for that to happen it would have been necessary first of all that little by little she acquired the nature of familial sweetness that Albertine had for me and which meant that her kiss on each side of my neck whenever she left was for me like my mother's kisses at Combray or my grandmother's kisses at Balbec, and that her tongue in my mouth had the sweet nourishment of daily bread and the sacredness almost of the host. And to come to place so much confidence, sweetness, so much of the soul into a woman's kiss, it had to begin by my not being able to endure the fact that she loved others, that is to say to begin to suffer anew.

Manuscript fragment from Cahier 54 probably intended for Albertine disparue.


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