For our next meeting we will read to page 613 in Volume II of the Modern Library (Moncrieff / Kilmartin / Enright) edition.
This takes us through the Narrator's first visit to Elstir's studio and Saint-Loup's departure from Balbec.
The last passage we will read is an extended "still life" with words, in which Proust describes what he sees on the table before him, having just finished his lunch at the Grand Hotel... "the broken gestures of the knives... the swollen convexity of a discarded napkin... the hollows of oyster-shells..." etc., etc..
"I tried to find beauty there where I had never imagined before that it could exist, in the most ordinary things, in the profundities of "still life."
The sentence that follows (surprise! it's a long one) is:
"When, some days after Saint-Loup's departure, I had succeeded in persuading Elstir to give a small party at which I should meet Albertine, the freshness of appearance and elegance of attire, both quite momentary, which were to be observed in me at the moment of my starting out from the Grand Hotel (and which were due respectively to a longer rest than usual and to special pains over my toilet) were such that I regretted my inability to reserve them (and also the credit accruing from Elstir's friendship) for the captivation of some other, more interesting person, I regretted having to use them all up on the simple pleasure of making Albertine's acquaintance."
This way, for the final meeting on June 6, before we break for summer, we will have finished Volume II (page 730 of the Modern Library edition).
Over the summer we will absorb what we have read so far, and prepare ourselves for the plunge into Volume III, The Guermantes Way, on September 5!