Taking the initiative, she spoke as follows: "You mean that you found out this evening that I lied to you when I pretended that I had been more or less brought up by Mlle Vinteuil's friend. It's true that I did lie to you a little. But I felt so looked down on by you, and I saw that you were so keen on that man Vinteuil's music, that as one of my school friends - this is true, I swear to you - had been a friend of Mlle Vinteuil's friend, I stupidly thought that I might make myself seem interesting to you by inventing the story that I had known the girls quite well. I felt that I bored you, that you thought me a goose; I thought that if I told you that those people used to see a lot of me, that I could easily tell you all sorts of things about Vinteuil's work, you'd think more highly of me, that it would bring us closer together. When I lie to you, it's always out of affection for you. And it needed this fatal Verdurin party to open your eyes to the truth, which perhaps they exaggerated a bit, incidentally. I bet Mlle Vinteuil's friend told you that she didn't know me. She met me at least twice at my friend's house. But of course, I'm not smart enough for people who've become so famous. They prefer to say that they've never met me.
Marcel Proust, The Captive, pp. 341-342
And the argument between Marcel and Albertine continues, with the latter taking a very passive aggressive approach. She "confesses" that she overplayed her friendship with Mlle Vinteuil's friend just so she would seem more sophisticated in Marcel's eyes. Albertine then flips it, in an impressive performance, by then emphasizing her own weakness (I'm not insensitive to the fact that she, like every woman of her age, faced a perpetual battle with a ruling patriarchy which dramatically limited her world and options - and, sadly, it's not that much better today): "I bet Mlle Vinteuil's friend told you that she didn't know me. She met me at least twice at my friend's house. But of course, I'm not smart enough for people who've become so famous. They prefer to say that they've never met me." Marcel, foolishly, downplays Albertine's intelligence and treats her like a child, but, as we've discussed, there's a lot more beneath the surface. As I've said several times, I just wish we knew more about her. As she tells us, "When I lie to you, it's always out of affection for you." I'm already thinking about the time when I re-read Remembrance of Things Past, and I wonder what my opinion of her will be then when I have a greater sense of the unfolding of the immense story and I won't be crippled with making extensive notes; she may end up being my favorite character.
I'm going to go ahead and apologize for tomorrow's posting, which I fear will not be very good. It involves a maddeningly complex deduction on the part of Marcel, which will mark him either as his generation's Sherlock Holmes or more than a bit of a lunatic.