‘that on close I inspection its mystery would dissolve, that it was no more than a projection, a mirage of desire. But in that case I had only to blame the compulsion of a law of nature-which if it applied to these girls would apply to all and not the imperfection of the object. For it was the one that I would have chosen above all others, convinced as I was, with a botanist’s
satisfaction, that it was not possible to find gathered together rarer specimens than these young flowers that at this moment before my eyes were breaking the line of the sea with their
slender hedge, like a bower of Pennsylvania roses adorning a cliffside garden, between whose blooms is contained the whole fact of ocean crossed by some steamer, so slow in gliding along the blue, horizontal line that stretches from one stem to the next that an idle butterfly, dawdling in the cup of a flower
which the ship’s hull has long since passed, can wait, before flying off in time to arrive before it, until nothing but the tiniest chink of blue still separates the prow from the first petal of the flower towards which it is steering.’
pg437 ‘within a budding grove’ Marcel Proust
Now I understand why the girls at the bookstore laughed at me for buying this book.