We are all of us obliged, if we are to make reality endurable, to nurse a few little follies in ourselves.
We consider it innocent to desire, and heinous that the other person should do so.
M. de Charlus persisted in not replying. I thought I could see a smile flicker about his lips: the smile of the man who looks down from a great height on the characters and manners of lesser men.
Lies, so often misleading and which form the substance of all conversations, are less effective in covering up a feeling of dislike or of self-interest, or a visit one would rather people did not know about, or a one-day fling one wants to conceal from one's wife - than a good reputation is in utterly overshadowing disreputable habits.
The wretchedness of ordinary life, endured so gaily when it is part of our normal existence, is made far worse when it comes as something new, and is exaggerated by the working of the imagination.
My house contains every useless thing in the world. it lacks only the one essential, a piece of sky like this one...