Proust:"Our social personality is a creation of the minds of others."
“Our social personality is a creation of the minds of others.
Even with respect to the most insignificant things in life, none of us constitutes a material whole, identical for everyone, which a person has only to go to look up as though we were a book of specifications or a last testament. Even the very simple act that we call ‘seeing a person we know’ is in part an intellectual act. We fill thephysical appearance of the individualwe see with all the notions we have about him, and in the total picture that we form for ourselves, these notions certainly have the greater part. In the end they swell his cheeks so perfectly, follow the line of his nose in adherence so exact, they do so well at nauncing the sonority o fhis voice as though the latter were only a transparent envelope that each time we see this face and hear this voice, it is these notions that we encounter again, that we hear.
The corporeal envelope of our friend had been so well stuffed… that this particular Swann had become a complete and living being, and I have the impression of leaving one person to go to another distinct from him, when in my memory, I pass from that first Swann in whom I rediscover the charming mistkes of my youth and who in fact resembles less the other Swann than he resembles the other people I knew at the time, as though it were the same in our life as in a museum where all the portraits from one period have a family look abut them, one tonality – to that first Swann abounding in leisure, fragrant with the smell of the tall chestnut tree, the baskets of raspberries and a sprig of tarragon.”
- The Way By Swann's, pages 22-23.