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Before Marcel searched for lost time (Temp Perdu), he searched for charm, both absolute and incidental. Charm is a principal theme in Proust, including charm and disenchantment, running through In Search for Lost Time from Marcel’s early imagining that the high society dominated by the Guermentes must be transportingly charming to his full awareness of how ordinary and even mediocre its people are. This awareness dominates the later books; at the same time, Marcel cannot resist the charms that Albertine has for him, principally when she is absent. Proust himself did not want the double meaning of perdu, both “lost” and “wasted,” to be missed. All things considered, including his rich digressions, his life has not really been a waste of time.