the python that will devour it

“As soon as I realized this I felt panic within me. The calm which I had just sampled was the first appearance of the great but intermittent force which would struggle within me against pain and against love, and would ultimately overcome them. What I had just had a foretaste and foreboding of, if only for a moment, was that which would later become a permanent state for me, a life where I would no longer suffer because of Albertine, where I would no longer love her. And my love, which had just recognized the only enemy able to vanquish it, the act of forgetting, started to tremble, like a lion enclosed in a cage which has suddenly seen the python that will devour it.”

(Proust, The Fugitive, trans. Peter Collier, p. 415.)

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