By Marcel Proust
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His friends talked to him: he heard the sounds, and he answered. But why there should be the noise of speech he could not understand. His mother had been his essential bond with the universe, and without her he has lost, as it were, his umbilical link with the life-giving principle and the creative principle that enables him to give shape and coherence to the sensations which register on his consciousness. A piece of paper blown along at his feet brings the death of his mother back to his mind again.
In the views attributed to Paul Morel there is an even more marked tendency to avoid a pessimistic interpretation of industrialisation. ' But Paul does not agree. and the headstocks, and the steam in the daytime, and the lights at night. When I was a boy, I always thought a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night was a pit, with its steam, and its lights, and the burning bank,- and I thought the Lord was always at the pit-top. ' That he sees the pit in these terms is an interesting commentary on his imaginative engagement with his surroundings.
He and his mother take a holiday in the Isle of Wight, but Mrs Morel becomes overstrained with walking. ) Having broken off with Miriam, he returns im- 24 mediately to Clara. One afternoon he invites her to go to Clifton Grove with him, and on the way he buys her some carnations, which he pins on her coat. The path is wet and muddy after heavy rain, and the River Trent is in full spate. They clamber along the steep cliff side of the Grove, find a secluded place, and make love. Afterwards they have tea at a cottage.