Notebook (it never happened)

August 25, 2011 § 1 Comment

“that false joy which a friend or relative can give us, when, on his arrival at the house or theatre that she is to be found, for some ball or party or ‘first night’ at which he is to meet her, he sees us wandering outside, desperately awaiting some opportunity of communicating with her. He recognises us, greets us familiarly, and asks what we are doing there. And when we invent a story of having some urgent message to give to his relative or friend, he assures us that nothing could be simpler, takes us in at the door, and promises to send her down to us in five minutes. How we love him, the good-natured intermediary who by a single word has made supportable, human, almost propitious the inconceivable, infernal scene of gaiety in the thick of which we had been imagining swarms of enemies, perverse and seductive, beguiling [her] away from us, even making [her] laugh at us …. Those inaccessible and excruciating hours during which she was about to taste of unknown pleasures – suddenly, through an unexpected breach, we have broken into them; suddenly we can picture to ourselves, we possess, we intervene upon, we have almost created, one of the moments the succession of which would have composed those hours, a moment as real as all the rest…. And doubtless the other moments of the party would not have been so very different from this one, would be no more exquisite, no more calculated to make us suffer”


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