Marcel Proust Quotes

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer’s work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader’s recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book’s truth.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“Love is a striking example of how little reality means to us.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“Let us leave pretty women to men with no imagination.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“My destination is no longer a place, rather a new way of seeing.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“Reading is that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“The true paradises are the paradises that we have lost.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

 

“If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less, but to dream more, to dream all the time.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“It comes so soon, the moment when there is nothing left to wait for.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

 

“We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“Like many intellectuals, he was incapable of saying a simple thing in a simple way”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“Desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade. ”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

 

“There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we believe we left without having lived them, those we spent with a favorite book.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

 

“Now there is one thing I can tell you: you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now. When you still had your mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer. Now you will often think of days past when you had her. When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you. At the present time, this is not yet possible. Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power … that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you. Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

 

“Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have of them.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

 

“Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we see that world multiply itself and we have at our disposal as many worlds as there are original artists, worlds more different one from the other than those which revolve in infinite space, worlds which, centuries after the extinction of the fire from which their light first emanated, whether it is called Rembrandt or Vermeer, send us still each one its special radiance.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

 

“Everything great in the world is done by neurotics; they alone founded our religions and created our masterpieces.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“It is often hard to bear the tears that we ourselves have caused.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us, which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world. The lives that you admire, the attitudes that seem noble to you, have not been shaped by a paterfamilias or a schoolmaster, they have sprung from very different beginnings, having been influenced by evil or commonplace that prevailed round them. They represent a struggle and a victory.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

 

“Love is not vain because it is frustrated, but because it is fulfilled. The people we love turn to ashes when we posess them.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

 

“The thirst for something other than what we have…to bring something new, even if it is worse, some emotion, some sorrow; when our sensibility, which happiness has silenced like an idle harp, wants to resonate under some hand, even a rough one, and even if it might be broken by it.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“People who are not in love fail to understand how an intelligent man can suffer because of a very ordinary woman. This is like being surprised that anyone should be stricken with cholera because of a creature so insignificant as the common bacillus.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“Now are the woods all black,
But still the sky is blue.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“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

 

 

“There is no one, no matter how wise he is, who has not in his youth said
things or done things that are so unpleasant to recall in later life that
he would expunge them entirely from his memory if that were possible.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“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 his younger days a man dreams of possessing the heart of the woman whom he loves; later, the feeling that he possesses the heart of a woman may be enough to make him fall in love with her.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“The places we have known do not belong solely to the world of space in which we situate them for our greater convenience. They were only a thin slice among contiguous impressions which formed our life at that time; the memory of a certain image is but regret for a certain moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fleeting, alas, as the years.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“If we are to make reality endurable, we must all nourish a fantasy or two.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“Love is space and time measured by the heart.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“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

 

 

“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.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“One cannot change, that is to say become a different person, while continuing to acquiesce to the feelings of the person one has ceased to be.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“All our final decisions are made in a state of mind that is not going to last.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“…the memory of a particular image is but regret for a particular moment..”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“I think that life would suddenly seem wonderful to us if we were threatened to die as you say. Just think of how many projects, travels, love affairs, studies, it–our life–hides from us, made invisible by our laziness which, certain of a future, delays them incessantly.

‘But let all this threaten to become impossible for ever, how beautiful it would become again! Ah! If only the cataclysm doesn’t happen this time, we won’t miss visiting the new galleries of the Louvre, throwing ourselves at the feet of Miss X, making a trip to India.

‘The cataclysm doesn’t happen, we don’t do any of it, because we find ourselves back in the heart of normal life, where negligence deadens desire. And yet we shouldn’t have needed the cataclysm to love life today. It would have been enough to think that we are humans, and that death may come this evening.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“It is our imagination that is responsible for love, not the other person.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them sees, that each of them is; and this we do [with great artists]; with artists like these we do really fly from star to star. ”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“There is no man…however wise, who has not at some period in his youth said things, or lived a life, the memory of which is so unpleasant to him that he would gladly expunge it. And yet he ought not entirely to regret it, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man…”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“Even in the most insignificant details of our daily life, none of us can be said to constitute a material whole, which is identical for everyone, and need only be turned up like a page in an account-book or the record of a will; our social personality is created by the thoughts of other people.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“I wished to see storms only on those coasts where they raged with most violence…”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“Every reader finds himself. The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself.”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“Perhaps it is not-being that is the true state, and all our dream of life is inexistent; but, if so, we feel that these phrases of music, these conceptions which exist in relation to our dream, must be nothing either. We shall perish, but we have as hostages these divine captives who will follow and share our fate. And death in their company is somehow less bitter, less inglorious, perhaps even less probable. ”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“The only true paradise is paradise lost”
― Marcel Proust

 

 

“Many years have passed since that night. The wall of the staircase up which I had watched the light of his candle gradually climb was long ago demolished. And in myself, too, many things have perished which I imagined would last for ever, and new ones have arisen, giving birth to new sorrows and new joys which in those days I could not have foreseen, just as now the old are hard to understand.”
― Marcel Proust

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