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Top 500 Marcel Proust Quotes (2022 Update)
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Marcel Proust Quote: “And continued to regard all their absurdities in the most rosy light through the admiring eyes of love.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The disgust of distinguished people for snobs who want to force themselves upon them, the virile man has for the invert, the woman for every man who is too much in love with her.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “These were happy, cheerful moments, innocent in appearance but hiding the growing possibility of disaster: this is what makes the life of lovers the most unpredictable of all, a life in which it can rain sulphur and pitch a moment after the sunniest spell and where, without having the courage to learn from our misfortunes, we immediately start building again on the slopes of the crater which can only spew out catastrophe.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Men who do their work intelligently and earnestly have an aversion to those who want to make literature out of what they do, to make it important.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Let a prize lower my position, if it causes me to be read; that I prefer immediately to all the honors.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I had indeed suffered successively through Gilberte, through Mme de Guermantes, through Albertine. Successively also I had forgotten them and only my love, dedicated at different times to different beings, had lasted.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “But what revealed to me all of a sudden the Princess’s love was a trifling incident upon which I shall not dwell here, for it forms part of quite another story, in which M. de Charlus allowed a Queen to die rather than miss an appointment with the hairdresser who was to singe his hair for the benefit of an omnibus conductor who filled him with alarm.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “For everyone who, having no artistic sense-that is to say, no submission to subjective reality-may have the knack of reasoning about art till doomsday, especially if he be, in addition, a diplomat or financier in contact with the ‘realities’ of the present day, is only too ready to believe literature is an intellectual game which is destined to gradually be abandoned as time goes on.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Life is like that little sweetheart. We dream it and we love it in dreaming it. We should not try to live it: otherwise, like that little boy, we will plunge into stupidity, though not at one swoop, for in life everything degenerates by imperceptible nuances. At the end of ten years we no longer recognize our dreams; we deny them, we live, like a cow, for the grass we are grazing on at the moment. And who knows if our wedding with death might not lead to our conscious immortality?”
Marcel Proust Quote: “It is not only by dint of lying to others, but also of lying to ourselves, that we cease to notice that we are lying.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “And then, while she was making them some orangeade, suddenly, just as when the reflector of a lamp that is badly fitted begins by casting all round an object, on the wall beyond it, huge and fantastic shadows which, in time, contract and are lost in the shadow of the object itself, all the terrible and disturbing ideas which he had formed of Odette melted away and vanished in the charming creature who stood there before his eyes.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I spent many a charming evening talking and playing with Albertine, but none so sweet as when I was watching her sleep.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “No sooner does an approaching hour become the present for us than it sheds all its charms, only to regain them, it is true, on the roads of memory, when we have left that hour far behind us, and so long as our soul is vast enough to disclose deep perspectives.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The mistakes of doctors are innumerable. They err as a rule out of optimism as to the treatment, and pessimism as to the outcome.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “We reason, that is, our mind wanders, each time our courage fails to force us to pursue an intuition through all the successive stages which end in its fixation, in the expression of its own reality.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “If the theater is the refuge of the conversationalist whose friend is mute and whose mistress is insipid, then conversation, even the most exquisite, is the pleasure of men without imagination.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “She tried to persuade them to confine their tributes to flowers and sweets, which had at least the merit of mortality; but she was never successful, and the house was gradually filled with a collection of foot-warmers, cushions, clocks, screens, barometers and vases, a constant repetition and a boundless incongruity of useless but indestructible objects.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “We try to discover in things, which become precious to us on that account, the reflection of what our soul has projected on to them; we are disillusioned when we find that they are in reality devoid of the charm which they owed, in our minds, to the association of certain ideas; sometimes we mobilise all our spiritual forces in a glittering array in order to bring our influence to bear on other human beings who, we very well know, are situated outside ourselves where we can never reach them.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I do find it absurd that a man of his intelligence should suffer over a person of that sort, who isn’t even interesting – because they say she’s an idiot,” she added with the wisdom of people not in love who believe a man of sense should be unhappy only over a person who is worth it; which is rather like being surprised that anyone should condescend to suffer from cholera because of so small a creature as the comma bacillus.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Like a fruit hidden among its leaves, which has grown and ripened unobserved by man, until it falls of its own accord, there came upon us one night the kitchen-maid’s confinement.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “She tried to make her eyes seem tender; she did not know why, for no reason, for pleasure, the pleasure of charity, of a little vanity, and also gratuity, the pleasure of carving your name into a tree trunk for a passerby whom you will never see, the pleasure of throwing a bottle into the ocean.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Robert was quite wrong in finding it extraordinary that lessons in worldly wisdom should be given to a young man by people who had done foolish things, or were still doing them.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The humanist, who read too much, ate too much. He quoted and burped, and these two complaints were equally repugnant to his neighbor, a self-made aristocrat, Madame Lenoir.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I fatti non penetrano nel mondo in cui vivono le nostre convinzioni, non le hanno create e non possono distruggerle. Possono infliggere loro continue smentite senza appannarle.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “It is not because other people are dead that our affection for them grows faint, it is because we ourselves are dying.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “She can’t have understood you: you are so utterly different from ordinary men. That’s what I liked about you when I first saw you; I felt at once that you weren’t like everybody else.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I did not wait to hear the end of my father’s story, for I had been with him myself after mass when we had met M. Legrandin; instead, I went downstairs to the kitchen to ask about the menu for our dinner, which was of fresh interest to me daily, like the news in a paper, and excited me as might the programme of a coming festivity.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “It’s far more difficult to disfigure a great work of art than to create one.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “They like my books better in England than in France; a translation would be very successful there.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “To tell the truth, I attached no importance to this possibility of hearing Berma which, a few years earlier, had plunged me in such a state of agitation. And it was not without a sense of melancholy that I realized the fact of my indifference to what at one time I had put before health, comfort, everything.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I never much like thus being told without possibility of reply what I am to think about people whom I know.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “But the true nature which we repress continues nevertheless to abide within us. Thus it is that at times, if we read the latest masterpiece of a man of genius, we are delighted to find in it all those of our own reflexions which we have despised, joys and sorrows which we have repressed, a whole world of feelings we have scorned, and whose value the book in which we discover them afresh suddenly teaches us.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “She’s an absolute idiot!” she added with the wisdom invariably shown by people who, not being in love themselves, feel that a clever man should only be unhappy about a person who is worth his while; which is rather like being astonished that anyone should condescend to die of cholera at the bidding of so insignificant a creature as the comma bacillus.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “That girl whom I never saw save dappled with the shadows of their leaves, was to me herself a plant of local growth, only taller than the rest, and one whose structure would enable me to approach more closely than in them to the intimate savour of the land from which she had sprung.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “For we form so extravagant an idea of certain characters that we would be incapable of identifying one of them with the familiar features of a person of our acquaintance.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “As by an electric current that gives us a shock, I have been shaken by my loves, I have lived them, I have felt them: never have I succeeded in seeing or thinking them.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “For, medicine being a compendium of the successive and contradictory mistakes of medical practitioners, when we summon the wisest of them to our aid, the chances are that we may be relying on a scientific truth the error of which will be recognized in a few years’ time. So that to believe in medicine would be the height of folly, if not to believe in it were not greater folly still, for from this mass of errors there have emerged in the course of time many truths.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Swann, with that almost arrogant charity of a man of the world who, amid the dissolution of all his own moral prejudices, finds in another’s shame merely a reason for treating him with a friendly benevolence...”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I never allow myself to be influenced in the smallest degree either by atmospheric disturbances or by the arbitrary divisions of what is known as Time.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Her initial need to confide in someone arose from the first disappointments of her sensuality, emerging as naturally as the first satisfactions of love normally emerge. She had not as yet known love. A short time later she suffered from it, which is the only manner in which we get to know it.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “No doubt my books too, like my mortal being, would eventually die, one day. But one has to resign oneself to dying. One accepts the thought that in ten years oneself, in a hundred years one’s books, will not exist. Eternal duration is no more promised to books than it is to men.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The young woman’s smiling lips met his caresses halfway, and her eyes shone in their depths like pools warmed by the sun.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “When our mistress is alive, a great part of the thoughts which form what we call our loves come to us during the hours when she is not by our side. Thus we acquire the habit of having as the object of our meditation an absent person, and one who, even if she remains absent for a few hours only, during those hours is no more than a memory. And so death does not make any great difference.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “He beguiled me almost by surprise into doing wrong, then he got me accustomed to having bad thoughts which I had no will to resist – willpower being the only force capable of driving them back to the infernal darkness from which they emerged.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The barriers of impossibility, which close off the field of reality to our dreams and desires, were shattered, and his thoughts drifted exuberantly through the unattainable, fired by their own movement.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “With women who do not love us, as with the “dear departed,” the knowledge that there is no hope left does not prevent us from continuing to wait.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Lies are essential to humanity.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Only that issues from ourselves which we ourselves extract from the darkness within ourselves and which is unknown to others.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “But she was wrong; it was what gave her away; she had not taken into account that this fragmentary detail of the truth had sharp edges which could not be made to fit in, except to those contiguous fragments of the truth from which she had arbitrarily detached it, edges which, whatever the fictitious details in which she might embed it, would continue to shew, by their overlapping angles and by the gaps which she had forgotten to fill, that its proper place was elsewhere.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Alexis had entered that ardent period in which the body labors so robustly at raising its palaces between the flesh and the soul that the soul quickly seems to have vanished, until the day when illness or sorrow has slowly undermined the barriers and transcended the painful fissure, allowing the soul to reappear.”
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