Extract from Carnet 2

   To be placed where my uncle's servant brings me some photographs. There was also a small photograph of me, from the far off days of Combray, when I had not yet commenced upon, or I had only recently commenced upon that daily loan taken from other men of all their fatal notions, of all their knowledge, of all their qualities, of all their vices, that hourly absorption of everything that is foreign to us and ends up becoming ours, Bloch's literary ideas, Bloch's ideas about women, Swann's ideas about Balbec, and about so many other things, at that time none of this was to be seen in my face and my face of that time was touching for me to see because in every aspect it had the appearance of the spirit of my grandmother, of a little Tunisian apricot perfectly golden and sugared in which were accumulated everything of strength and sweetness that she fostered and it was the eyes of my grandmother that I recognized in it, not only in the solemnity of my eyes but no less in my cheeks of that time whose fullness had the appearance of having been gently rounded by her tenderness like a pebble polished by the waves and whose hue had something innocent, light and gentle about it, a shimmer, so pensive down to the depth of the epidermis, that it seemed like a retina of a different kind in which my grandmother's gaze was still reflected.
   If the photographs come before the resurrection of my feelings of tenderness for my grandmother, I will say "my mother's" instead of "my grandmother's". And so I will be saying, this was my face from which by subtraction the contribution of life and of the exterior world, the sum of time, had been deducted.

From Carnet 2, 1913-1916 (N. A. Fr. 16638). This passage was not used in Le Côté de Guermantes.


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