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Top 500 Marcel Proust Quotes (2023 Update)
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Marcel Proust Quote: “Thus I had already reached the conclusion that we are in no wise free in the presence of a work of art, that we do not create it as we please but that it pre-exists in us and we are compelled as though it were a law of nature to discover it because it is at once hidden from us and necessary.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “She lived her life, but I may have been the only one to dream it.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Prosperity of wicked men runs like a torrent past, and soon is spent.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “A book is like a large cemetery upon whose tombs one can no longer read the effaced names. On the other hand, sometimes one remembers well the name, without knowing if anything of the being, whose name it was, survives in these pages.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “A man of letters, merely by reading a phrase, can estimate exactly the literary merit of its author.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Why, when we regain consciousness, is it not an identity other than the one we had previously that is embodied in us? It is not clear what dictates the choice nor why, among the millions of human beings we might be, it is the being we were the day before that we unerringly grasp.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I wished to see storms only on those coasts where they raged with most violence...”
Marcel Proust Quote: “It is the tragedy of other people that they are to us merely showcases for the very perishable collections of our own mind.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “A ‘sadist’ of her kind is an artist in evil, which a wholly wicked person could not be...”
Marcel Proust Quote: “A fashionable milieu is one in which everybody’s opinion is made up of the opinion of all the others. Has everybody a different opinion? Then it is a literary milieu.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “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 Quote: “Man is the creature that cannot emerge from himself, that knows his fellows only in himself; when he asserts the contrary, he is lying.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “There are mountainous, arduous days, up which one takes an infinite time to climb, and downward-sloping days which one can descend at full tilt, singing as one goes.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Il faudrait choisir de cesser de souffrir ou de cesser d’aimer.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “What barrier is so insurmountable as silence?”
Marcel Proust Quote: “There is hardly a single action we perform in that phase which we would not give anything, in later life, to be able to annul. Whereas what we ought to regret is that we no longer possess the spontaneity which made us perform them. In later life we look at things in a more practical way, in full conformity with the rest of society, but adolescence is the only period in which we learn anything.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “We enjoy lovely music, beautiful paintings, a thousand intellectual delicacies, but we have no idea of their cost, to those who invented them, in sleepless nights, tears, spasmodic laughter, rashes, asthmas, epilepsies, and the fear of death, which is worse than all the rest.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “She’s got feet like boats, whiskers like an American, and her undies are filthy.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “For, just as in the beginning it is formed by desire, so afterwards love is kept in existence only by painful anxiety.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The breath of the enchanted wind mingles the fresh scent of the lilacs with the fragrance of the past.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The idea of popular art, like that of a patriotic art, if not actually dangerous seemed to me ridiculous. If the intention was to make art accessible to the people by sacrificing refinements of form, on the ground that they are “all right for the idle rich” but not for anybody else, I had seen enough of fashionable society to know that it is there that one finds real illiteracy and not, let us say, among electricians.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “His jealousy, like an octopus which throws out a first, then a second, and finally a third tentacle, fastened itself irremovably first to that moment, five o’clock in the afternoon, then to another, then to another again. But Swann was incapable of inventing his sufferings. They were only the memory, the perpetuation of a suffering that had come to him from without.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “There is an inanimate object which has a capacity to exasperate which no human being will ever attain: a piano.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “To a great extent, suffering is a sort of need felt by the organism to make itself familiar with a new state, which makes it uneasy, to adapt its sensibility to that state.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “In the end they come to fill out so completely the curve of his cheeks, to follow so exactly the line of his nose, they blend so harmoniously in the sound of his voice that these seem to be no more than a transparent envelope, so that each time we see the face or hear the voice it is our own ideas of him which we recognise and to which we listen. And.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Which drew from Bloch nothing more instructive than “Sir, I am absolutely incapable of telling you whether it has rained. I live so resolutely apart from physical contingencies that my senses no longer trouble to inform me of them.” “My.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “For instinct dictates our duty and the intellect supplies us with pretexts for evading it.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The whole art of living is to use the people who make us suffer simply as steps enabling us to obtain access to their divine form and thus joyfully to people our lives with divinities.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Our intonations contain our philosophy of life, what each of us is constantly telling himself about things.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Those whose suffering is due to love are, as we say of certain invalids, their own physicians.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “And my grandmother had bought them in preference to other books, just as she would have preferred to take a house that had a gothic dovecot, or some other such piece of antiquity as would have a pleasant effect on the mind, filling it with a nostalgic longing for impossible journeys through the realms of time.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “L’ide e qu’on mourra est plus cruelle que mourir, mais moins que l’ide e qu’un autre est mort. The idea of dying is worse than dying itself, but less cruel than the idea that another has died.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Reality is never more than a first step towards an unknown on the road to which one can never progress very far.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “A woman one loves rarely suffices for all our needs, so we deceive her with another whom we do not love.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The charms of a passing woman are usually in direct relation to the speed of her passing.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “A photograph acquires something of the dignity which it ordinarily lacks when it ceases to be a reproduction of reality and shows us things that no longer exist.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “And so when studying faces, we do indeed measure them, but as painters, not as surveyors.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “This was because, in the most genuine exhaustion, there is, especially in neurotic people, an element that depends upon attracting their attention and is kept going only by an act of memory. We at once feel tired as soon as we are afraid of feeling tired, and, to throw off our fatigue, it suffices us to forget about it.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Les plats se lisent et les livres se mangent.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I drank a second mouthful in which I find nothing more than in the first, then a third which gives me rather less than the second. It is time to stop; the potion is losing its magic.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “To know a thing does not enable us, always, to prevent its happening, but after all the things that we know we do hold, if not in our hands, at any rate in our minds, where we can dispose of them as we choose, which gives us the illusion of a sort of power to control them.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The beauty of images lies behind things, the beauty of ideas in front of them.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Adultery breathes new life into marriages which have been left for dead.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Unfortunately the next day was not the vast, extraneous expanse of time which I had feverishly looked forward. When it drew to a close my laziness and my painful struggle to overcome internal obstacles had simply lasted twenty-four hours longer.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “But the presence of Odette continued to sow in Swann’s heart alternate seeds of love and suspicion.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “We strive all the time to give our life its form, but we do so by copying willy-nilly, like a drawing, the features of the person that we are and not of the person we should like to be.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “But sometimes it is just when everything seems to be lost that we experience a presentiment that may save us; one has knocked on all the doors which lead nowhere, and then, unwittingly, one pushes against the only one through which one may enter and for which one would have searched in vain for a hundred years, and it opens.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “It’s a funny thing, now; I very often think of my poor wife, but I cannot think of her very much at any one time.” “Often, but a little at a time, like poor old Swann,” became one of my grandfather’s favourite phrases, which he would apply to all kinds of things.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Error, by force of contrast, enhances the triumph of Truth.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “An artist has no need to express his mind directly in his work for it to express the quality of that mind; it has indeed been said that the highest praise of God consists in the denial of Him by the atheist, who finds creation so perfect that it can dispense with a creator.”
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