Quotes from Proust XXXVII: My book will furnish readers with the means to read what lies within themselves

I thought of those who would read it as “my” readers. For it seemed to me that they would not be “my” readers but the readers of their own selves, my book being merely a sort of magnifying glass like those which the optician at Combray used to offer his customers— it would be my book, but with its help I would furnish them with the means of reading what lay inside themselves.

And yet in a book individual characters, whether human or of some other kind, are made up of numerous impressions derived from many girls, many churches, many sonatas, and combined to form a single sonata, a single church, a single girl, so that I should be making my book in the same way that Françoise made that boeuf à la mode which M. de Norpois had found so delicious, just because she had enriched its jelly with so many carefully chosen pieces of meat.


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