People claim that we recapture for a moment the self that we were long ago when we enter some house or garden in which we used to live in our youth. But these are most hazardous pilgrimages, which end as often in disappointment as in success. It is in ourselves that we should rather seek to find those fixed places, contemporaneous with different years.
The bonds between ourselves and another person exists only in our minds. Memory as it grows fainter loosens them, and notwithstanding the illusion by which we want to be duped and which, out of love, friendship, politeness, deference, duty, we dupe other people, we exist alone. Man is the creature who cannot escape from himself, who knows other people only in himself, and when he asserts the contrary, he is lying.
If we are to make reality endurable, we must all nourish a fantasy or two.
Pleasures are like photographs: in the presence of the person we love, we take only negatives, which we develop later, at home, when we have at our disposal once more our inner dark room, the door of which it is strictly forbidden to open while others are present.
Were it not for habit, life would seem delightful to beings constantly under threat of dying, in other words to all humankind.
You cannot be surprised at anything men do, they're such brutes.
But to ask pity of our body is like discoursing in front of an octopus, for which our words can have no more meaning than the sound of the tides, and with which we should be appalled to find ourselves condemned to live.
You're as strong as the Pont Neuf. You'll live to bury us all!
But when one believes in the reality of things, making them visible by artificial means is not quite the same as feeling that they are close at hand.
I was left alone there in the company of the orchids, roses and violets, which, like people waiting beside you who do not know you, preserved a silence which their individuality as living things made all the more striking, and warmed themselves in the heat of a glowing coal fire...
I wished to see storms only on those coasts where they raged with most violence...
No doubt very few people understand the purely subjective nature of the phenomenon that we call love, or how it creates, so to speak, a supplementary person, distinct from the person whom the world knows by the same name, a person most of whose constituent elements are derived from ourselves.
Our desires cut across one another, and in this confused existence it is rare for happiness to coincide with the desire that clamoured for it.
Our desires interweave with one another; and in the confusion of existence, it is seldom that a joy is promptly paired with the desire that longed for it.
But sometimes illumination comes to our rescue at the very moment when all seems lost; we have knocked at every door and they open on nothing until, at last, we stumble unconsciously against the only one through which we can enter the kingdom we have sought in vain a hundred years - and it opens.
The bonds that unite us to another human being are sanctified when he or she adopts the same point of view as ourselves in judging one of our imperfections.
Love is a striking example of how little reality means to us.
We do not succeed in changing things according to our desire, but gradually our desire changes.
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
Time passes, and little by little everything that we have spoken in falsehood becomes true.
Let us leave pretty women to men devoid of imagination.
In theory one is aware that the earth revolves, but in practice one does not perceive it, the ground upon which one treads seems not to move, and one can live undisturbed. So it is with Time in one's life.
Our memory is like a shop in the window of which is exposed now one, now another photograph of the same person. And as a rule the most recent exhibit remains for some time the only one to be seen.
It is not because other people are dead that our affection for them grows faint, it is because we ourselves are dying.
There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.
I perceived that to express those impressions, to write that essential book, which is the only true one, a great writer does not, in the current meaning of the word, invent it, but, since it exists already in each one of us, interprets it. The duty and the task of a writer are those of an interpreter.
Les vrais paradis sont les paradis qu'on a perdus. The true paradises are the lost paradises.
Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have retained of them.
Impelled by a state of mind which is destined not to last, we make our irrevocable decisions
Lies are essential to humanity. They are perhaps as important as the pursuit of pleasure and moreover are dictated by that pursuit.
More Marcel Proust Quotations (Based on Topics)
Love - Mind - People - Man - Time - World - Life - Nature - Woman - Art - Memory - Habit - Happiness - Suffering - Books - Desire - Change - Death & Dying - Reality - View All Marcel Proust Quotations
More Marcel Proust Quotations (By Book Titles)
- In Search of Lost Time
- In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower
- The Guermantes Way
- Within a Budding Grove
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