Translations:CP 02830/43/en

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  1. This passage is one of those that attest to the transposition of Alfred Agostinelli into Albertine in the novel (see Albertine disparue, IV, p. 175; La Fugitive, Cahiers d’Albertine disparue, ed. N. Mauriac Dyer, Le Livre de poche "classique", 1993, p. 189 et note 1). The present letter may have served as an initial draft of a verso page in the "Venuste" Cahier, essentially written after the accidental disappearance of Agostinelli in spring 1914. This particular passage is highlighted in blue pencil, demonstrating the importance that Proust attached to it: "Capital (perhaps for the very end of the book, possibly on the death of Albertine when I begin to forget) / It is not because other people die that one's grief diminishes, but because one dies oneself. Albertine had nothing to reproach her lover for. Her lover had not forgotten her but had rejoined her in death, leaving behind as heir the man who I am today who most certainly loves Albertine but did not know her. Indeed on many occasions he had heard her spoken of in the accounts of that other self while he continued to live on under the shadow of the one that had died, the one that he had to outlive, he had often heard her spoken of; he thought he knew her, he loved her through the accounts he heard about her: but it was nothing more than a secondhand affection." (Cahier 54, f. 13v, simplified transcription). See Cahier 54, ed. F. Goujon, N. Mauriac Dyer and Ch. Nakano, Brepols, 2008, vol. II, f. 13v and note 1. Proust would take up the passage again from the (final) version in Cahier 56 in his letter-dedication to Mme Scheikévitch (CP 03024; Kolb, XIV, no. 136). [NM]