Marcel Proust

Leda - Leonardo Da Vinci

… even in the most insignificant details of our life, none of us can be said to constitute a material whole, which is identical for everyone, and need only be turned up like a page in an account-book or the record of a will; our social personality is a creation of the thoughts of other people. Even the simple act which we describe as “seeing someone we know” is to some extent an intellectual process. We pack the physical outline of the person we see with all the notions we have already formed about him, and in the total picture of him which we compose in our minds those notions have certainly the principal place. In the end they come out so completely to fill the curve of his cheeks, to follow so exactly the line of his nose, they blend so harmoniously in the sound of his voice as it were no more than a transparent envelope, that each time we see the face or hear the voice it is these notions which we recognise and to which we listen.

Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, Volume I; 2003 Modern Library Paperback Edition – p23-24.

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