We must all create a world of fiction in which

we alone can live. We strain to fashion a private

narrative to contain the teeming fantasies that occupy our inner

nature. A writer creates a world we can all visit,

like paupers touring a palace, wondering, as we explore its

splendors at the remarkable differences with our own more ramshackle

abode while struck by the persistence of human nature and

emotion that makes us feel that we, too, could live

in such a mansion. On lonely days I lose myself

altogether in solitary reflection in my own private Winter Palace.

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Paraphrases from the biography Marcel Proust: A Life by William C. Carter.

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