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Top 500 Marcel Proust Quotes (2023 Update)
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Marcel Proust Quote: “I longed for nothing more than to behold a stormy sea, less as a mighty spectacle than as a momentary revelation of the true life of nature;.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Unkind people imagine themselves to be inflicting pain on someone equally unkind.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “It is false to believe that the scale of fears corresponds to that of the dangers which inspire them. One might be frightened of sleeplessness and yet not of a duel, of a rat and not of a lion.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “He lives at Balbec?” crooned the Baron in a tone so far from interrogatory that it is regrettable that the written language does not possess a sign other than the question mark to end such apparently unquestioning remarks. It is true that such a sign would be of little use except to M. de Charlus.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “As soon as jealousy is discovered, it is regarded by the person who is its object as a challenge which justifies deception.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “For theories and schools, like microbes and corpuscles, devour one another and by their strife ensure the continuity of life.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “To think that I wasted years of my life, that I wanted to die, that I felt my deepest love, for a woman who did not appeal to me, who was not my type!”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Swann could at once detect in this story one of those fragments of literal truth which liars, when taken by surprise, console themselves by introducing into the composition of the falsehood which they have to invent, thinking that it can be safely incorporated, and will lend the whole story an air of verisimilitude.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “People who laugh so heartily at what they themselves have said, when it is not funny, dispense us accordingly, by taking upon themselves the responsibility for the mirth, from joining in it.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “We accept so many commitments in regard to life that a time comes when, despairing of ever managing to fulfill them all, we face the graves, we call upon death, “death, which brings help to destinies that have trouble coming true.” But while death may exempt us from commitments we have made in regard to life, it cannot exempt us from our commitments to ourselves, especially the most important one: namely, the commitment to live in order to be worthy and deserving.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Most of our faculties lie dormant because they can rely upon Habit, which knows what there is to be done and has no need of their services.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Lies are essential to humanity. They are perhaps as important as the pursuit of pleasure and moreover are dictated by that pursuit.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Things outside seemed also fixed in mute expectation, so as not to disturb the moonlight which, duplicating each of them and throwing it back by the extension, forwards, of a shadow denser and more concrete than its substance, had made the whole landscape seem at once thinner and longer, like a map which, after being folded up, is spread out upon the ground.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Nobility is often no more than the inner aspect which our egotistical feelings assume when we have not yet named and classified them.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I thought nothing at all, but I felt an immense sadness, as when two parts of one’s past existence, which have been anchored near to one, and upon which one has perhaps been basing idly from day to day an unacknowledged hope, remove themselves finally, with a joyous flapping of pennants, for unknown destinations, like a pair of ships. As.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “We would like the truth to be revealed to us by novel signs, not by a sentence, a sentence similar to those which we have constantly repeated to ourselves. The habit of thinking prevents us at times from experiencing reality, immunises us against it, makes it seem no more than another thought. There is no idea that does not carry in itself its possible refutation, no word that does not imply its opposite.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “According to a charming law of nature which is evident even in the most sophisticated societies, we live in complete ignorance of whatever we love.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I believe that all true art is classic, but the dictates of the mind rarely permit of its being recognized as such when it first appears.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “We only really know what is new, what suddenly introduces to our sensibility a change of tone which strikes us, that for which habit has not yet substituted its pale fac-similes.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “To such beings, such fugitive beings, their own nature and our anxiety fasten wings. And even when they are with us the look in their eyes seems to warn us that they are about to take flight. The proof of this beauty itself, that wings add is that often, for us, the same person is alternately winged and wingless.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Knowing does not always allow us to prevent, but at least the things that we know, we hold them, if not in our hands, but at leastin our thoughts where we may dispose of them at our whim, which gives us the illusion of power over them.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “A woman whom we need and who makes us suffer elicits from us a whole gamut of feelings far more profound and vital than a man of genius who interests us.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “After luncheon the sun, conscious that it was Saturday, would blaze an hour longer in the zenith,...”
Marcel Proust Quote: “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.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “He sat there silent, watching their love expire.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “In most women’s lives, everything, even the greatest sorrow, comes down to a question of ‘I haven’t got a thing to wear’.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Words do not change their meanings so drastically in the course of centuries as, in our minds, names do in the course of a year or two.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I loved her; I was sorry not to have had the time and the inspiration to insult her, to do her some injury, to force her to keep some memory of me.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I felt even disappointed when he resumed the thread of his narrative.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “It is the same in life: the heart changes, and that is our worst misfortune, but we learn of it only from reading or by imagination, for in reality its alteration, like that of certain natural phenomena, is so gradual that even if we are able to distinguish successively each of its different states, we are still spared the actual sensation of change.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Everything that seems imperishable tends to extinguishment.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I do my intellectual work inside myself, and once I am with my fellow creatures it is more or less a matter of indifference to me whether or not they are intelligent as long as they are kind, sincere, etc.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “But the absolute control over his facial muscles to which M. de Norpois had attained allowed him to listen without seeming to hear a word.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “But old age, to begin with, has something in common with death. Some face it with indifference, not because they have more courage than others, but because they have less imagination.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “What artists call posterity is the posterity of the work of art.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “It smells all right; it makes your head go round; it catches your breath; you feel ticklish all over – and not the faintest clue how it’s done. The man’s a sorcerer; the thing’s a conjuring trick, it’s a miracle,“...”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Unlike the earth, the sea is not separated from the sky; it always harmonizes with the colors of the sky and it is deeply stirred by its most delicate nuances. The sea radiates under the sun and seems to die with it every evening. And when the sun has vanished, the sea keeps longing for it, keeps preserving a bit of its luminous reminiscence in the face of the uniformly somber earth.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “All the objects which he contemplated with as much curiosity and admiration as gratitude, for if, in absorbing his dreams, they had delivered him from an obsession, they themselves were, in turn, enriched by the absorption; they shewed him the palpable realisation of his fancies, and they interested his mind; they took shape and grew solid before his eyes, and at the same time they soothed his troubled heart.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Aristocracy is a relative thing. And there are plenty of out-of-the-way places where the son of an upholsterer is the arbiter of fashion and reigns over a court like any young Prince of Wales.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “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 Quote: “Our passions shape our books, repose writes them in the intervals.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “But when his mistress for the time being was a woman in society, or at least one whose birth was not so lowly, nor her position is so irregular that he was unable to arrange for her reception in ‘society,’ then for her sake he would return to it, but only to the particular orbit in which she moved or into which he had drawn her.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “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 Quote: “One reads the papers as one wants to with a bandage over one’s eyes without trying to understand the facts, listening to the soothing words of the editor as to the words of one s mistress.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Wars are fought for the benefit of oligarchs, triumphs bought with the blood of peons.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Sometimes it would even happen that this precocious hour would sound two strokes more than the last; there must then have been an hour which I had not heard strike; something which had taken place had not taken place for me; the fascination of my book, a magic as potent as the deepest slumber, had stopped my enchanted ears and had obliterated the sound of that golden bell from the azure surface of the enveloping silence.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “It is only with the passions of others that we are ever really familiar, and what we come to discover about our own can only be learned from them.”
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: “Because of the infinite quality of love, or its egotism, the intellectual and spiritual physiognomy of the people we love are the least objectively defined for us. We are constantly retouching them to suit our desires and our fears; we do not separate them from us; they are but an immense and vague place where our affections exteriorize themselves.”
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