“All this burden of past experience one trails about with one…There ought to be some way of getting rid of one’s superfluous memories. How I hate old Proust! Really detest him.’ And with a richly comic eloquence he proceeded to evoke the vision of that asthmatic seeker of lost time squatting, horribly white and flabby, with breasts almost female but fledged with long black hairs, for ever squatting in that tepid bath of his remembered past. And all the stale soapsuds of countless previous washings floated around him, all the accumulated dirt of years lay crusty on the sides of the tub or hung in dark suspension in the water. And there he sat, a pale repellent invalid, taking up spongefuls of his own thick soup and squeezing it over his face, scooping up cupfuls of it and appreciatively rolling the grey and gritty liquor round his mouth, gargling, rinsing his nostrils with it, like a pious Hindu in the Ganges…”
Huxley, Aldous. Eyeless in Gaza. London: Random House, 2004. Pages 6-7.
Eleanor Bron read this quote during the Memory episode of Words and Music on BBC Radio 3. It comes from the first chapter of Eyeless in Gaza.