Thus we presented each to the other an appearance which was very different from the reality. And no doubt it is always so when two people are face to face, since each of them is ignorant of a part of what exists in the other (even what he knows, he can understand only in part) and both of them reveal what is least personal to them, either because they have themselves not properly untangled and regard as negligible what is most personal or because insignificant advantages which do not belong to them particularly seem more important and more flattering to themselves, and at the same time they pretend not to care about certain things they admire in order not to be despised for not having them, and these are precisely the things that they appear to scorn above all else and even to abhor. But in love this misunderstanding is carried to its supreme pitch because, except perhaps in childhood, we try to see to it that the appearance we assume, instead of reflecting exactly what is in our thoughts, is what is best calculated to enable us to obtain what we desire, and this, in my case, since I had came in, was to be able to keep Albertine as docile as she had been in the past, and to ensure that she did not in her irritation ask me for greater freedom, which I wanted to grant her some day but which at this moment, when I was afraid of her hankerings after independence, would have made me too jealous. After a certain age, from self-esteem and from sagacity, it is to the things we most desire that we pretend to attach no importance. But in love, mere sagacity--which in any case is probably not true wisdom--drives us all too quickly to this kind of duplicity. What I had dreamed of, as a child, as being the sweetest thing in love, what had seemed to me to be the very essence of love, was to pour out freely, to the one I loved, my tenderness, my gratitude for her kindness, my longing for an everlasting life together, But I had become only too well aware, from my own experience and from that of my friends, that the expression of such sentiments is far from being contagious.

(Marcel Proust, In Search Of Lost Time, Vol. V, pp. 463-4.)

Sam Mok