Friday, October 8, 2010

In Search of Time Past - a cathedral?

... The reader who first opened Du Coté de chez Swann in 1913, could no more grasp the compositional plan of the whole work than a visitor entering Rouen Cathedral by the Library Door can understand the general scheme of the building. The reader, on the other hand, who, having worked through the whole novel, is struck by the secret symmetry of the composition, by the multiplicity of the details that balance one another from wing to wing of the structure, by the toothing stones set in position from that first moment that the work was begun, and designed to carry vaulting still to come, must be filled with wonder that Proust could envisage the whole gigantic edifice so completely.

-- André Maurois, The Quest for Proust, p. 183

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