"Whenever he [Bergotte] spoke of something whose beauty had until then remained hidden from me, of pine-forests or of hailstorms, of Notre-Dame Cathedral, of Athalie or of Phèdre, by some piece of imagery he would make their beauty explode into my consciousness. And so, realising that the universe contained innumerable elements which my feeble senses would be powerless to discern did he not bring them within my reach, I longed to have some opinion, some metaphor of his, upon everything in the world, and especially upon such things as I might some day have an opportunity of seeing for myself; and among these, more particularly still upon some of the historic buildings of France, upon certain seascapes, because the emphasis with which he referred to them in his books showed that he regarded them as rich in significance and beauty". (övers. Moncrieff/Kilmartin, sid. 102-103)
"Each time he [Bergotte] talked about something whose beauty had until then been hidden from me, about pine-forests, about hail, about Notre-Dame Cathedral, about Athalie and Phèdre, with one image he would make that beauty explode into me. And so, realizing how many parts of the universe there were that my feeble perception would not be able to distinguish if he did not bring them close to me, I wanted to possess an opinion of his, a metaphor of his, for everything in the world, especially those things that I would have an opportunity of seeing myself, and, of the latter, particularly for some of the historic buildings of France and certain seascapes, because the insistence with which he mentioned them in his book proved that he considered them rich in meaning and beauty". (övers. Lydia Davis, sid. 96-97)
*) Philippe Michel-Thiriet, The Book of Proust (1987).