From “Intermittencies of the Heart,” from Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust

The promenade at Cabourg.

The promenade at Cabourg.

“For with the perturbations of memory are linked the intermittencies of the heart.”

“… that contradiction of survival and annihilation, so strangely intertwined …. I did not know whether I should one day distil a grain of truth from this painful and for the moment incomprehensible impression, but I knew that if I ever did extract some truth from life, it could only be from such an impression and from none other, an impression at once so particular and so spontaneous, which had neither been traced by my intelligence nor attenuated by my pusillanimity, but which death itself, the sudden revelation of death, striking like a thunderbolt, had carved within me, along a supernatural and inhuman graph, in a double and mysterious furrow.”

“And I asked nothing more of God, if a paradise exists … that he would let me stay with her throughout eternity, which would not be too long for the two of us.”

“… by the accession of a different order and more profound origin, the dead annex the living who become their replicas and successors, the continuators of their interrupted life. Perhaps the great sorrow that, in a daughter …, follows the death of her mother simply breaks the chrysalis a little sooner, hastens the metamorphosis and the appearance of a being whom we carry within us and who, but for this crisis which annihilates time and space, would have emerged more gradually.”

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