” And Paris, barely glimpsed and shrouded with the glare of night . . . the emanation even of Paris was peace. An emanation as powerful as that of London, more lively and yet more serene. Serene where gracious buildings presided over the large flaring thoroughfares, serene even in the dreadful by-streets.
And that woman at the station. Black-robed figure, coming diagonally across the clear space yellow in gas-light against the background of barriered platforms, seeming with her swift assured gait, bust first, head reared and a little tilted back on the neck, so insolently feminine, and then as she swept by, suddenly beautiful; from head to foot all gracefully moving rhythm. Style, of course, redeeming ugliness and cruelty. She was the secret of France. France concentrated.”
Yet to return to the last four (and fifth unfinished) books of Pilgrimage. I read a few pages at a time, but must soon opt for immersion.