| Quote #4
…my dear friend Jules Darboux, wishing to do me a refined aesthetic favour, had touched my sleeve and said, "I want you to meet —" and led me to Nina, who sat in the corner of a couch, her body folded Z-wise, with an ashtray at her heel, and she took a long turquoise cigarette holder from her lips and joyfully, slowly exclaimed, "Well, of all people —" and then all the evening my heart felt like breaking… (40)
Victor’s anguish over Nina is made all the more noticeable by her LACK of longing or pain. He suffers all the more for knowing that she doesn’t return his feelings.
| Quote #5
…and overheard one man saying to another, "Funny, how they all smell alike, burnt leaf through whatever perfume they use, those angular dark-haired girls," and as it often happens, a trivial remark related to some unknown topic coiled and clung to one's own intimate recollection, a parasite of its sadness. (40)
Passages like this one set the tone for "Spring in Fialta," a series of memories not only nostalgic, but also intensely melancholy.