Even when one is no longer attached to things

Even when one is no longer attached to things, it’s still something to have been attached to them; because it was always for reasons which other people didn’t gasp… Well, now that I’m a little too weary to live with other people, these old feelings, so personal and individual, that I had in the past, seem to me – it’s the mania of all collectors – very precious. I open my heart to myself like a sort of vitrine, and examine one by one all those love affairs of which the world can know nothing. And of this collection to which I’m now much more attached than to my others, I say to myself, rather as Mazarin said of his books, but in fact without the least distress, that it will be very tiresome to have to leave it all.

Charles Swann in Marcel Proust À la recherche du temps perdu (Sodome et Gomorrhe)

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