Bertrand de Réveillon

   And all those years of his life that he did not understand, all those splendid labours that he had never practised, all that strength so far removed from his own weakness were as so many friends to Bertrand of which he was unconsciously jealous, that scattered much of his self far and wide, into the unknown, to the heights, into that which can never be recovered, which was to say once again to his other friends: you are here only to help me fly more swiftly to his side. Vigorous youth, exercises in ingenuity, I command you to lead me quickly to him, and then leave me. You will do well to know him, as well as I ever dreamed, everything that he always knew between us is there beside us, for him, at the service of our friendship, even that imperceptible past that he thought impossible to bring back and above all to pervade within him. Well here it is and so pervading in him that it is nothing but the servant of our friendship like my recent friends who looked for a motorcar for us and then got into a different one. How better am I able to relieve him of all the afflictions of my energy other than by enslaving it to the desire to see him and by my rejecting it as soon as I am with him...The distant years make you sad although you never spoke of them to me - well here they all are miraculously conjured up this evening, I lead you to them alongside me on my journey and show you that as with everything that belongs to me they belong to you and are there for you.

Passage omitted from the publication of Jean Santeuil, written c. 1902.


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