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Now with three times as much Proust - delta_november

Oct. 12th, 2006

10:36 pm - Now with three times as much Proust

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"He made what apology he could and hurried home, glad that the satisfaction of his curiosity has preserved their love intact, and that, having feigned for so long a sort of indifference towards Odette, he had not now, by his jealousy, given her the proof that he loved her too much, which, between a pair of lovers, forever dispenses the recipient from the obligation to love enough."
- Swann's Way, Marcel Proust, translated by Moncrieff and Kilmartin, page 300.

The beginning of the sentence concerns Swann spying on Odette, concerned that she is seeing another. But it's the end that interests me. Can loving another too much (jealousy aside) reduce the love that one can expect in return? Just what is the optimum level of love? Discuss.

"Even in the case of their evening meetings, she would never tell him until the last minute whether she would be able to see him, for, counting on his being always free, she wished first to be certain that no-one else would propose coming round. She would plead that she was obliged to wait for an answer that was of the very greatest importance to her, and if, even after she had allowed Swann to come, any of her friends asked her, half-way through the evening, to join them at some theater or at supper afterward, she would jump for joy and dress with all speed."
- Ibid, page 343.

I have days when I sympatise with this.

"To get through each day, natures that are at all highly strung, as was mine, are equipped, like motor-cars, with different gears. There are mountainous, arduous days, up which one takes an infinite time to climb, and downwards-sloping days which one can descend at full tilt, singing as one goes."
- Ibid, page 424.

This is a fun image.