Proust

Collected Items 28.10.12

A snippet from the one and only Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust. Who to eviscerate a lived-in space better than he?

But I had seen sometimes one, sometimes another, of the bedrooms I had inhabited in my life, and in the end I would recall them all in the reveries that followed my waking: winter bedrooms in which, as soon as you are in bed, you bury your head in a nest that you weave of the most disparate things: a corner of the pillow, the top of the covers, a bit of shawl, the side of the bed and an issue of ‘Debats roses’, that you end up cementing together using the birds’ technique of pressing down on it indefinitely; where in icy whether the pleasure you enjoy is the feeling that you are separated from the outdoors (like the sea swallow which makes its nest deep in an underground passage in the warmth of the earth) and where, since the fire is kept burning all night in the fireplace, you sleep in a great cloak of warm, smoky air, pierced by the glimmers from the logs breaking into flame again, a sort of immaterial alcove, a warm cave hollowed in the heart of the room itself, a zone of heat with moving thermal contours, aerated by draughts that cool your face and come from the corners, from the parts close to the window or far from the hearth, and that have grown cold again;  -tbc

Marcel Proust, The Way by Swann’s trans. Lydia Davis (London: Penguin, 2003) p. 11

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