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Top 500 Marcel Proust Quotes (2022 Update)
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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: “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: “Homosexuals would be the best husbands in the world if they did not put on an act of loving other women.”
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: “My body, still too heavy with sleep to move...”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Those whose suffering is due to love are, as we say of certain invalids, their own physicians.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “A man may have spent his life among the great ones of the earth, who to him have been merely boring relatives or tedious acquaintances because a familiarity engendered in the cradle had stripped them of all glamour in his eyes.”
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: “Yet a single sound, a single scent, already heard or breathed long ago, may once again, both in the present and the past, be real without being present, ideal without being abstract, as soon as the permanent and habitually hidden essence of things is liberated, and our true self, which may sometimes have seemed to be long dead, but never was entirely, is re-awoken and re-animated when it receives the heavenly food that is brought to 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: “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: “The most familiar precepts are not always the truest.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Real life, life finally uncovered and clarified, the only life in consequence lived to the full, is literature. Life in this sense dwells within all ordinary people as much as the artist. But they do not see it because they are not trying to shed light on it.”
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: “Everything that seems imperishable tends to extinguishment.”
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: “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: “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: “What artists call posterity is the posterity of the work of art.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “After luncheon the sun, conscious that it was Saturday, would blaze an hour longer in the zenith,...”
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: “How could all this fresh water of memories have spurted once again and flowed through my impure soul of today without getting soiled?”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Our passions shape our books, repose writes them in the intervals.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “In the V-shaped opening of her crape bodice Mlle. Vinteuil felt the sting of her friend’s sudden kiss;...”
Marcel Proust Quote: “In my most desperate moments, I have never conceived of anything more horrible than a law office.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “You can’t learn the truth about a man’s intentions by asking him.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Our belief that a person takes part in an unknown life which his or her love would allow us to enter is, of all that love demands in order to come into being, what it prizes the most, and what makes it care little for the rest.”
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: “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: “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 when from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, taste and smell alone, more fragile but more enduring, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, remain poised a long time, like souls, remembering, waiting, hoping, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unflinchingly, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection.”
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: “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: “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: “She lived her life, but I may have been the only one to dream it.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Perhaps she would not have thought of wickedness as a state so rare, so abnormal, so exotic, one which it was so refreshing to visit, had she been able to distinguish in herself, as in all her fellow-men and women, that indifference to the sufferings which they cause which, whatever names else be given it, is the one true, terrible and lasting form of cruelty.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Knowledge of the thing cannot impede it; but at least we have the things we discover, if not in our hands, at least in thought, and there they are at your disposal, which inspires us to the illusory hope of enjoying a kind of dominion over them.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “A work in which there are theories is like an object which still has the ticket that shows its price.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “No banishment, indeed, to the South Pole, or to the summit of Mont Blanc, can separate us so entirely from our fellow creatures as a prolonged residence in the seclusion of a secret vice, that is to say of a state of mind that is different from theirs.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Lies are essential to humanity.”
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: “For we are not as faithful to the being we have most loved as we are to ourselves and sooner or later we forget her – since that is one of our characteristics – so as to start loving another.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I was not at all worried about finding my doctor boring; I expected from him, thanks to an art of which the laws escaped me, that he pronounce concerning my health an indisputable oracle by consulting my entrails.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Fashions, being themselves begotten of the desire for change, are quick to change also.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Wars are fought for the benefit of oligarchs, triumphs bought with the blood of peons.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The fault I find with our journalism is that it forces us to take an interest in some fresh triviality or other every day, whereas only three or four books in a lifetime give us anything that is of real importance.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The facts of life do not penetrate to the sphere in which our beliefs are cherished; they did not engender those beliefs, and they are powerless to destroy them; they can inflict on them continual blows of contradiction and disproof without weakening them; and an avalanche of miseries and maladies succeeding one another without interruption in the bosom of a family will not make it lose faith in either the clemency of its God or the capacity of its physician.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “We see things but we don’t see them, like things that slid through the mind, one flowing into another.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “No doubt, few people understand either the purely subjective nature of the phenomenon of love, or how it creates a supplementary person who is quite different from the one who bears our beloved’s name in the outside world, and is mostly formed from elements within ourselves. So there are few who see anything natural in the disproportionate dimensions which we come to perceive in a person who is not the same as the one they see.”
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