"I am a mirror..."

I am not a complete idiot, but whether from weakness or laziness have no talent for thinking. I know only how to reflect: I am a mirror ... Logic does not exist for me. I float on the waves of art and life and never really know how to distinguish what belongs to the one or the other or what is common to both. Life unfolds for me like a theatre presenting a sequence of somewhat unreal sentiments; while the things of art are real to me and go straight to my heart.

— Sviatoslav Richter

On translating Proust

After noting in Against Sainte-Beuve how beautiful books are written in a sort of foreign language, Proust observed of such works that “beneath each word each of us places our understanding or, at least, our image, and which is often a misunderstanding.” Many of the misunderstandings and disagreements of those who have dedicated so much to understanding Proust’s book are a natural result of our different images, our different imaginations, our different perspectives.