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Top 500 Marcel Proust Quotes (2023 Update)
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Marcel Proust Quote: “The illusions of paternal love are perhaps no less poignant than those of the other kind; many daughters regard their fathers merely as the old men who leave their fortunes to them.”
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: “For a young man has strong imagination but poor judgment, so that he imagines others to be as big as he is but considers himself to be very small. He has unbounded trust in the universe but is constantly unsure of himself.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “So long as I know what’s boiling in my pot I don’t bother my head about what’s in other people’s.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Other people are, as a rule, so immaterial to us that, when we have entrusted to any one of them the power to cause so much suffering or happiness to ourselves, that person seems at once to belong to a different universe, is surrounded with poetry, makes of our lives a vast expanse, quick with sensation, on which that person and ourselves are ever more or less in contact.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “It is said that nothing in our lives is ever lost, that nothing can prevent its having been. That is why, so very often the weight of the past lies ineluctably upon the present. But that is why it is so real in memory, so wholly itself, so far beyond replacement.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “When Jean and his mother left Etreuilles, Monsieur Sureau had gathered for them great boxfuls of hawthorn and of snowballs which Madame Santeuil had not the courage to refuse. But, as soon as Jean’s uncle had gone home, she threw them away, saying that they already had more than enough in the way of luggage. And then Jean cried because he had been separated from the darling creatures which he would have liked to take with him to Paris, and because of his mother’s naughtiness.”
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: “From the pavement, I could see the window of Albertine’s room, that window, formerly quite black, at night, when she was not staying in the house, which the electric light inside, dissected by the slats of the shutters, striped from top to bottom with parallel bars of gold.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “We must love men more than things, and I admire and weep more for the soldiers than for the churches which were only the recording of an heroic gesture which today is reenacted at every moment.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “In my most desperate moments, I have never conceived of anything more horrible than a law office.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “There are few who are worthy to understand what I feel... I seek out those who are of this chosen few, and I avoid the rest.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The sensitiveness claimed by neurotic is matched by their egotism: they cannot abide the flaunting by others of the sufferings to which they pay an even increasing amount of attention in themselves.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “As a man with imagination you can enjoy only in regret or in anticipation – that is, in the past or in the future.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “You can’t learn the truth about a man’s intentions by asking him.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “For the most dangerous of all forms of concealment is that of the crime itself in the mind of the guilty party. His permanent consciousness of it prevents him from imagining how generally it is unknown, how readily a complete lie would be accepted, and on the other hand from realising at what degree of truth other people will detect, in words which he believes to be innocent, a confession.”
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: “How much farther does anguish penetrate in psychology than psychology itself!”
Marcel Proust Quote: “One wants to be understood because one wants to be loved, and one wants to be loved because one loves.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “There are people whose faces assume an unaccustomed beauty and majesty the moment they cease to look out of their eyes.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “There are optical errors in time as there are in space.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “It was impossible for me to thank my father; what he called my sentimentality would have exasperated him.”
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: “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: “M. de Charlus made no reply and looked as if he had not heard, which was one of his favourite forms of rudeness.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “One can seldom admire what one loves.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “When the successive hours of our life are thus displayed against too widely dissimilar backgrounds, we find that we give away too much of ourselves to all sorts of people who next day will not interest us in the least.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Will it ultimately reach the clear surface of my consciousness, this memory, this old, dead moment which the magnetism of an identical moment has travelled so far to importune, to disturb, to raise up out of the very depths of my being? I cannot tell. Now that I feel nothing, it has stopped, has perhaps gone down again into its darkness, from which who can say whether it will ever rise?”
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: “Three-quarters of the expenditure of wit and the lies told out of vanity that have been squandered since the world began by people who in doing so merely diminish themselves have been squandered on inferiors.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Just is not by other men of intelligence that an intelligent an is afraid of being thought a fool, so it is not by the great gentleman but by boors and ‘bounders’ that a man of fashion is afraid of finding his social value underrated. Three-fourths of the mental ingenuity displayed, of the social falsehoods scattered broadcast ever since the world began by people whose importance they have served only to diminish, have been aimed at inferiors.”
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: “We forgive the crimes of individuals, but not their participation in a collective crime.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Fashions, being themselves begotten of the desire for change, are quick to change also.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The most familiar precepts are not always the truest.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “To determine not to think of it was but to think of it still, to suffer from it still.”
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: “Were it not for habit, life would seem delightful to beings constantly under threat of dying, in other words to all humankind.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “And yet one did not find in the speech of Bergotte a certain luminosity which in his books, as in those of some other writers, often modified in the written phrase the appearance of its words. This was doubtless because that light issues from so profound a depth that its rays do not penetrate to our spoken words in the hours in which, thrown open to others by the act of conversation, we are to a certain extent closed against ourselves.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “I would fall asleep again, and thereafter would reawaken for short snatches only, just long enough to hear the regular creaking of the wainscot, or to open my eyes to stare at the shifting kaleidoscope of the darkness, to savour, in a momentary glimmer of consciousness, the sleep which lay heavy upon the furniture, the room, that whole of which I formed no more than a small part and whose insensibility I should very soon return to share.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “May my life someday be so limpid that the Muses will deign to mirror themselves in it and that we can see the reflections of their smiles and their dances skimming across its surface.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Sometimes in the afternoon sky the moon would pass white as a cloud, furtive, lusterless, like an actress who does not have to perform yet and who, from the audience, in street clothes, watches the other actors for a moment, making herself inconspicuous, not wanting anyone to pay attention to her.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “For Swann was finding in things once more, since he had fallen in love, the charm that he had found when, in his adolescence, he had fancied himself an artist; with this difference, that what charm lay in them now was conferred by Odette alone.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “At that moment, noticing that his embroidered handkerchief was revealing part of its coloured edging, he thrust it back into his pocket with a startled glance, like a prudish but not innocent woman concealing bodily charms which in her excessive modesty she sees as wanton.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “Under each station of the real, another glimmers.”
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: “An impression is for the writer what an experiment is for the scientist, except that for the scientist the work of the intelligence precedes it, and for the writer it comes afterwards.”
Marcel Proust Quote: “The flowers which played then among the grass, the water which rippled past in the sunshine, the whole landscape which served as environment to their apparition lingers around the memory of them still with its unconscious or unheeding air;...”
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.”
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