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