Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Merely by dining out often in the company of a physician

They are almost hidden in the vast work of Proust, these few short words that, together, suggest the dogged but also quietly enterprising nature of what he calls 'talent':
To my parents it seemed almost as though, idle as I was, I was leading, since it was spent in the same salon as a great writer, the life most favourable to the growth of talent. And yet the assumption that anyone can be dispensed from having to create that talent for himself (de faire ce talent soi-même), from within himself (par le dedans), and can acquire it from someone else (le reçoive d'autrui), is as erroneous as to suppose that a man can keep himself in good health (in spite of neglecting all the rules of hygiene and of indulging in the worst excesses) merely by dining out often in the company of a physician. (Within a Budding Grove)

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