Wednesday, October 22, 2008

from The Guermantes Way

That she should have also worked, with the perseverance and the ingenuity that came naturally to her, to undo the social status she owed to her high birth does not in any way imply that, even in that remote period of her youth, Mme de Villeparisis did not attach great importance to her position. In the same way, the neurasthenic can contrive the web of isolation and inactivity in which he lives from morning to night without its seeming any more bearable, and as he hastens to add another mesh to the net that holds him captive, it is possible that he is dreaming only of dancing, sport, and travel. We constantly strive to give our life its form, but by copying, in spite of ourselves, like a drawing, the features of the person we are, not the person we should like to be. (181)

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