Stairway To Heaven*

Dear Proust,

Thank you for making me have inappropriate feelings towards madeleines (cakes, not a person).

She sent for one of those squat plump little cakes called “petites madeleines,” which look as though they had been molded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell … I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure invaded my senses …

And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray … when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Leonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane …. and the whole of Combray and its surroundings, taking shape and solidity, sprang into being, town and garden alike, from my cup of tea..

Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 1: Swann’s Way.

My friends always try not to look embarrassed when I bite into one of these cakes when eating out (that just sounds so wrong doesn’t it?).

If you are as intrigued or as in love with madeleines like I am and like me,  reading Proust is a Herculean task (truthfully, reading Proust is more enjoyable to the senses than reading William S Burroughs’ Naked Lunch): check out this fantastic article re: how much did Proust know about madeleines?

As my poor throat is only accepting clear liquids and with a somewhat no taste buds, I won’t be eating any madeleines anytime soon 😦


the unwell one with what appears to have a mini scallop-shelled cake fetish.

*I think it’s a rather appropriate title, don’t you?


I just read the whole entry again -that was me writing with several..err…some…err…the prescribed amount of paracetamol and aspirin, imagine my writings if I was on “stronger stuff”? I’d be like Burroughs!- and the whole thing sounds wrong..hahahaha..please get your mind out of the gutter, people!!!

Published in: on December 18, 2010 at 1:17 am  Leave a Comment  

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