I would now happily remain at the table while it was being cleared [ ... ] I sought to find again in reality, I cherished as though for their poetic beauty, the broken gestures of the knives still lying across one another, the swollen convexity [la rondeur bombee] of a discarded napkin [ ... ] the promenade of the antiquated chairs that came twice daily to take their place round the white cloth spread on the table as on an altar at which were celebrated the feasts of gourmandise, and where in the hollows of the oyster-shells a few drops of lustral water had remained as in tiny stone baptismal fonts. (IF 2: 224; 2:519)
Granted, the shells, and not the flesh are recalled. Common sense, however, would indicate that if the shells are left empty on the table, the flesh has been eaten. And who would have eaten it but the very person who is addressing us?