My cup of tea

And once I had recognized
the taste of the crumb of madeleine
soaked in her decoction of lime-flowers
which my aunt used to give me
(although I did not yet know and must long postpone
the discovery of why this memory made me so happy)
immediately the old grey house
upon the street, where her room was,
rose up like the scenery of a theatre
to attach itself to the little pavilion,
opening on to the garden,
which had been built out behind it for my parents
(the isolated panel which until that moment
had been all that I could see);
and with the house the town,
from morning to night and in all weathers,
the Square where I was sent before luncheon,
the streets along which I used to run errands,
the country roads we took when it was fine.
And just as the Japanese amuse themselves
by filling a porcelain bowl with water
and steeping in it little crumbs of paper
which until then are without character or form,
the moment they become wet,
stretch themselves and bend,
take on colour and distinctive shape,
become flowers or houses or people,
permanent and recognisable,
so in that moment all the flowers in our garden
and in M. Swann's park,
and the water-lilies on the Vivonne
and the good folk of the village
and their little dwellings
and the parish church
and the whole of Combray and of its surroundings,
taking their proper shapes and growing solid,
sprang into being,
town and gardens alike,
from my cup of tea.

– Marcel Proust (translated by C. K. Scott-Moncrieff)

2 thoughts on “My cup of tea”

  1. makes me wonder: what if marcel proust had a blog?

    or kafka?

    might be fun to repurpose (or reimagine) literary sources as daily blog entries.

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