Marcel Proust Quotes (123 Quotes)



    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.



    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.



    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...


    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.


    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.

    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.

    Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.

    Everything great in the world comes from neurotics. They alone have founded our religions and composed our masterpieces.

    There is no man, however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory.

    In a separation it is the one who is not really in love who says the more tender things.

    Less disappointing than life, great works of art do not begin by giving us all their best.

    The regularity of a habit is generally in proportion to its absurdity.

    Often it is just lack of imagination that keeps a man from suffering very much.

    When, from a long distant past, nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, still, alone, more fragile, but with more vitality, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised for a long time, like souls, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment, amid the ruins of all the rest and bear unfaltering ... the vast structure of recollection.

    A work in which there are theories is like an object which still has the ticket that shows its price.

    We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it in full.

    The mistakes made by doctors are innumerable. They err habitually on the side of optimism as to treatment, of pessimism as to the outcome.

    I understood that all the material of a literary work was in my past life, I understood that I had acquired it in the midst of frivolous amusements, in idleness, in tenderness and in pain, stored up by me without my divining its destination or even its su

    We are healed from suffering only by experiencing it to the full.

    We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.

    Everything great that we know has come from neurotics never will the world be aware of how much it owes to them, nor above all what they have suffered in order to bestow their gifts on it.

    We are able to find everything in our memory, which is like a dispensary or chemical laboratory in which chance steers our hand sometimes to a soothing drug and sometimes to a dangerous poison.

    Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees.


    Our intonations contain our philosophy of life, what each of us is constantly telling himself about things.

    Habit is a second nature which prevents us from knowing the first, of which it has neither the cruelties nor the enchantments.


    More Marcel Proust Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Love - Mind - People - Man - Time - Life - World - Nature - Woman - Art - Memory - Habit - Happiness - Books - Desire - Change - Work & Career - Wisdom & Knowledge - Death & Dying - 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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