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Marcel Proust
“At the start of a new love as its ending, we are not exclusively attached to the object of that love, but rather the desire to love from which it will presently arise (and, later on, the memory it leaves behind) wanders voluptuously through a zone of interchangeable charms -- simply natural charms, it may be, gratification of appetite, enjoyment of one's surroundings -- which are harmonious enough for it not to feel at a loss in the presence of any one of them.”
Marcel Proust, Within a Budding Grove, Part 2

Marcel Proust
“The most exclusive love for a person is always a love for something else.”
Marcel Proust, Within a Budding Grove, Part 2

Marcel Proust
“It is our noticing them that puts things in a room, our growing used to them that takes them away again and clears a space for us.”
Marcel Proust, Within a Budding Grove, Part 2

Marcel Proust
“One can feel an attraction towards a particular person. But to release that fount of sorrow, that sense of the irreparable, those agonies which prepare the way for love, there must be -- and this is perhaps, more than a person, the actual object which our passion seeks so anxiously to embrace -- the risk of an impossibility.”
Marcel Proust, Within a Budding Grove, Part 2

Marcel Proust
“What best remind us of a person is precisely what we had forgotten (because it was of no importance, and we therefore left it in full possession of its strength). That is why the better part of our memories exist outside us, in a blatter of rain, in the smell of an unaired room or of the first crackling brushwood fire in a cold grate: wherever, in short, we happen upon what our mind, having no use for it, had rejected, the last treasure that the past has in store, the richest, that which, when all our flow of tears seems to have dried at the source, can make us weep again. Outside us? Within us, rather, but hidden from our eyes in an oblivion more or less prolonged. It is thanks to this oblivion alone that we can from time to time recover the person that we were, place ourselves in relation to things as he was placed, suffer anew because we are no longer ourselves but he, and because he loved what now leaves us indifferent. In the broad daylight of our habitual memory the images of the past turn gradually pale and fade out of sight, nothing remains of them, we shall never recapture it. Or rather we should never recapture it had not a few words been carefully locked away in oblivion, just as an author deposits in the National Library a copy of a book which might otherwise become unobtainable.”
Marcel Proust, Within a Budding Grove, Part 2

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