Monday, June 19, 2006

Marcel Proust

I was browsing through my faded and yellowing copy of The Penguin Dictionary of Modern Quotations, dated 1976, and came up with this intriguing line from Proust:

As soon as one is unhappy one becomes moral.

It's from "Within a Budding Grove," of Remembrance of Things Past. The R. Scott Moncrieff translation. That's the boxed-set version I picked up about 10 to 12 years ago, at a place called Books and Memories, in Syracuse, New york, for about nine dollars, if the faulty device called memory serves me well.

That quote is one of those gems you come across reading Proust. (Another one: he once referred to the body as a "nervous envelope.")

His line reminds me of the Cornwalls, the Puritans, the Talibanic naysayers, the tight-lipped moralists, the Arthur Dimmesdales... [add yours here]

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