THE NOVEL THAT WAS NOT FINISHED. I knew that Proust continually made extensive revisions in the drafts of his novel. The critics seem to feel that Proust began with SWANN’S WAY, the first book of the six which comprise THE REMEMBRANCE OF LOST TIME, but that the second book he wrote was the ending of the novel, book six, TIME REGAINED. Proust then felt free to expand the material in what became books two through five. The novel was not finished even though the draft had a beginning and an end. There were continual revisions and additions. Bergotte’s insight as he was dying vindicates Proust’s method of continual revision. Bergotte as he looked at Vermeer’s painting “remarked for the first time some small figures in blue, that the ground was pink…. Bergotte says to himself:
“That is how I ought to have written,…. My last books are too dry, I ought to have gone over them with several coats of paint, made my language exquisite in itself, like this little patch of yellow wall.”

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