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Marcel Proust Quotes (123 Quotes)


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  • 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.
    (Marcel Proust, "Within a Budding Grove")

  • 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.
    (Marcel Proust, "In Search of Lost Time")

  • 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.
    (Marcel Proust, "Within a Budding Grove")

  • Love is a striking example of how little reality means to us.
    (Marcel Proust, "In Search of Lost Time")

  • 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.
    (Marcel Proust, "In Search of Lost Time")


  • 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.
    (Marcel Proust, "In Search of Lost Time")

  • If we are to make reality endurable, we must all nourish a fantasy or two.
    (Marcel Proust, "In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower")

  • 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.
    (Marcel Proust, "In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower")

  • Were it not for habit, life would seem delightful to beings constantly under threat of dying, in other words to all humankind.
    (Marcel Proust, "In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower")

  • You cannot be surprised at anything men do, they're such brutes.
    (Marcel Proust, "In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower")

  • 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.
    (Marcel Proust, "The Guermantes Way")

  • You're as strong as the Pont Neuf. You'll live to bury us all!
    (Marcel Proust, "The Guermantes Way")

  • 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.
    (Marcel Proust, "Within a Budding Grove")

  • 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...
    (Marcel Proust, "Within a Budding Grove")

  • I wished to see storms only on those coasts where they raged with most violence...
    (Marcel Proust, "Within a Budding Grove")


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