Nursing the wound

“The disgraced ambassador, the under-secretary placed suddenly on the retired list, the man about town who finds himself cold-shouldered, the lover who has been shown the door, examine, sometimes for months on end, the event that has shattered their hopes; they turn it over and over like a projectile fired at them they know not from whence or by whom, almost as though it were a meteorite. They long to know the constituent elements of this strange missile which has burst upon them, to learn what animosities may be detected therein. Chemists have at least the means of analysis; sick men suffering from a disease the origin of which they do not know can send for the doctor; criminal mysteries are more or less unravelled by the examining magistrate. But for the disconcerting actions of our fellow-men we rarely discover the motives.” – Marcel Proust, The Captive (trans. Moncrieff and Kilmartin)

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