Best 709 of Marcel Proust quotes - MyQuotes

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Marcel Proust
By Anonym 19 Sep

Marcel Proust

The sea refreshes our imagination because it does not make us think of human life; yet it rejoices the soul, because, like the soul, it is an infinite and impotent striving, a strength that is ceaselessly broken by falls, an eternal and exquisite lament. The sea thus enchants us like music, which, unlike language, never bears the traces of things, never tells us anything about human beings, but imitates the stirrings of the soul. Sweeping up with the waves of those movements, plunging back with them, the heart thus forgets its own failures and finds solace in an intimate harmony between its own sadness and the sea’s sadness, which merges the sea’s destiny with the destinies of all things.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marcel Proust

Everything we think of as great has come to us from neurotics. It is they and they alone who found religions and create great works of art. The world will never realize how much it owes to them and what they have suffered in order to bestow their gifts on it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marcel Proust

The inertia of the mind urges it to slide down the easy slope of imagination, rather than to climb the steep slope of introspection.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marcel Proust

One becomes moral as soon as one is unhappy.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marcel Proust

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.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Marcel Proust

While Elstir, at my request, went on painting, I wandered about in the half-light, stopping to examine first one picture, then another. Most of those that covered the walls were not what I should chiefly have liked to see of his work, paintings in what an English art journal which lay about on the reading-room table in the Grand Hotel called his first and second manners, the mythological manner and the manner in which he shewed signs of Japanese influence, both admirably exemplified, the article said, in the collection of Mme. de Guermantes. Naturally enough, what he had in his studio were almost all seascapes done here, at Balbec. But I was able to discern from these that the charm of each of them lay in a sort of metamorphosis of the things represented in it, analogous to what in poetry we call metaphor, and that, if God the Father had created things by naming them, it was by taking away their names or giving them other names that Elstir created them anew.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marcel Proust

And indeed when we are no longer in love with women whom we meet after many years, is there not the abyss of death between them and ourselves, just as much as if they were no longer of this world, since the fact that we are no longer in love makes the people that they were or the person that we were then as good as dead?

By Anonym 16 Sep

Marcel Proust

Homosexuals would be the best husbands in the world if they did not put on an act of loving other women.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Marcel Proust

Unfortunately, in the social as in the political world, the victims are such cowards that one cannot for long remain indignant with their executioners.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marcel Proust

And then, gradually, the memory of her would fade away, I had forgotten the girl of my dream.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marcel Proust

And once the novelist has brought us to this state, in which, as in all purely mental states, every emotion is multiplied ten-fold, into which his book comes to disturb us as might a dream, but a dream more lucid and more abiding than those which come to us in sleep, why then, for the space of an hour he sets free within us all the joys and sorrows in the world, a few of which only we should have to spend years of our actual life in getting to know, and the most intense of which would never be revealed to us because the slow course of their development prevents us from perceiving them. It is the same in life; the heart changes, and it is our worst sorrow; but we know it only through reading, through our imagination: 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.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Marcel Proust

He made what apology he could and hurried home, overjoyed that the satisfaction of his curiosity had preserved their love intact, and that, having feigned for so long, when in Odette's company, a sort of indifference, he had not now, by a demonstration of jealousy, given her that proof of the excess of his own passion which, in a pair of lovers, fully and finally dispenses the recipient from the obligation to love the other enough. He never spoke to her of this misadventure, he cased even to think of it himself. But now and then his thoughts in their wandering course would come upon this memory where it lay unobserved, would startle it into life, thrust it more deeply down into his consciousness, and leave him aching with a sharp, far-rooted pain.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marcel Proust

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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marcel Proust

Even from the simplest, the most realistic point of view, the countries which we long for occupy, at any given moment, a far larger place in our actual life than the country in which we happen to be.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marcel Proust

There comes in all our lives a time ... when the ears can listen to no music save what the moonlight breathes through the flute of silence.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marcel Proust

A veces estamos demasiado dispuestos a creer que el presente es el único estado posible de las cosas.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Marcel Proust

It is illness that makes us recognize that we do not live in isolation but are chained to a being from a different realm, worlds apart from us and by whom it is impossible to make ourselves understood: our body. Were we to meet a brigand on the road, we might manage to make him conscious of his own personal interest if not our plight. But to ask pity of our body is like talking to an octopus, for which our words can have no more meaning than the sound of the sea, and with which we should be terrified to find ourselves condemned to live.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marcel Proust

That which we remember of our conduct is ignored by our closest neighbour; but that which we have forgotten having said, or even what we never said, will cause laughter even into the next world.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Marcel Proust

The real propaganda is what—if we are genuinely a living member of a nation—we tell ourselves because we have hope, hope being a symbol of a nation's instinct of self-preservation. To remain blind to the unjustness of the cause of the individual "Germany," to recognise at every moment the justness of the cause of the individual "France," the surest way was not for a German to be without judgement, or for a Frenchman to possess it, it was, both for the one and for the other, to be possessed of patriotism.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marcel Proust

There's nothing like desire to prevent the things one says from having any resemblance to the things in one's mind.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marcel Proust

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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marcel Proust

What we have not had to decipher, to elucidate by our own efforts, what was clear before we looked at it, is not ours. From ourselves comes only that which we drag forth from the obscurity which lies within us, that which to others is unknown.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Marcel Proust

La vera terra dei barbari non è quella che non ha mai conosciuto l’arte, ma quella che, disseminata di capolavori, non sa né apprezzarli né conservarli.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Marcel Proust

My life had been like a painter who climbs up a road overhanging a lake that is hidden from view by a screen of rocks and trees. Through a gap he glimpses it, he has it all there in front of him, he takes up his brushes.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Marcel Proust

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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marcel Proust

A powerful idea communicates some of its power to the man who contradicts it. Partaking of the universal community of minds, it infiltrates, grafts itself on to, the mind of him who it refutes, among other contiguous ideas, with the aid of which, counter-attacking, he complements and corrects it; so that the final verdict is always to some extent the work of both parties to a discussion.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marcel Proust

Our memory is like a shop in the window of which is exposed now one, now another photograph of the same person. And as a rule the most recent exhibit remains for some time the only one to be seen.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marcel Proust

As soon as jealousy is discovered, it is regarded by the person who is its object as a challenge which justifies deception.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marcel Proust

For women who do not love us, as for the "disappeared", knowing that we no longer have any hope does not prevent us form continuing to wait. We live on our guard, on watch; women whose son has gone asea on a dangerous exploration imagine at any minute, although it has long been certain that he has perished, that he will enter, miraculously saved, and healthy.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marcel Proust

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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marcel Proust

We can only be faithful to what we remember, and we remember only what we have known.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Marcel Proust

In my most desperate moments, I have never conceived of anything more horrible than a law office.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Marcel Proust

Presently, one after another, like shyly hopping sparrows, her friends arrived, black against the snow.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marcel Proust

Love is a reciprocal torture.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marcel Proust

Nous sommes tous oblige  s, pour rendre la re  alite supportable, d'entretenir en nous quelques petites folies. We must all indulge in a few follies if we are to make reality bearable.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Marcel Proust

We don't receive wisdom we must discover it for ourselves.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Marcel Proust

No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. ... Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? ... And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Marcel Proust

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marcel Proust

It is comforting when one has a sorrow to lie in the warmth of one's bed and there, abandoning all effort and all resistance, to bury even one's head under the cover, giving one's self up to it completely, moaning like branches in the autumn wind. But there is still a better bed, full of divine odors. It is our sweet, our profound, our impenetrable friendship.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marcel Proust

Reading is that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Marcel Proust

The beauty of images lies behind things, the beauty of ideas in front of them.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Marcel Proust

Then from those profound slumbers we awake in a dawn, not knowing who we are, being nobody, newly born, ready for anything, the brain emptied of that past which was life until then. And perhaps it is more wonderful still when our landing at the waking-point is abrupt and the thoughts of our sleep, hidden by a cloak of oblivion, have no time to return to us gradually, before sleep ceases. Then, from the black storm through which we seem to have passed (but we do not even say we), we emerge prostrate, without a thought, a we that is void of content.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marcel Proust

The stellar universe is not so difficult to understand as the real actions of other people, especially of the people with whom we are in love.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Marcel Proust

that profit which good things bestowed on us by teaching to seek pleasure elsewhere than in the barren satisfaction of worldly wealth.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marcel Proust

It is the wicked deception of love that it begins by making us dwell not upon a woman in the outside world but upon a doll inside our head, the only woman who is always available in fact, the only one we shall ever possess, whom the arbitrary nature of memory, almost as absolute as that of the imagination, may have made as different from the real woman as the real Balbec had been from the Balbec I imagined- a dummy creation that little by little, to our own detriment, we shall force the real woman to resemble.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marcel Proust

We can sometimes find a person again, but we cannot abolish time. And so on until the unforeseen day, gloomy as a winter night, when one no longer seeks that girl, or any other, when to find her would actually scare one. For one no longer feels that one has attractions enough to please, or strength enough to love. Not, of course, that one is in the strict sense of the word impotent. And as for loving, one would love more than ever. But one feels that it is too big an undertaking for the little strength one has left.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marcel Proust

Among all the modes by which love is brought into being, among all the agents which disseminate that blessed bane, there are few so efficacious as this gust of feverish agitation that sweeps over us from time to time. For then the die is cast, the person whose company we enjoy at that moment is the person we shall henceforward love. It is not even necessary for that person to have attracted us, up till then, more than or even as much as others. All that was needed was that our predilection should become exclusive. And that condition is fulfilled when — in this moment of deprivation — the quest for the pleasures we enjoyed in his or her company is suddenly replaced by an anxious, torturing need, whose object is the person alone, an absurd, irrational need which the laws of this world make it impossible to satisfy and difficult to assuage — the insensate, agonising need to possess exclusively.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Marcel Proust

The anaesthetic effect of habit being destroyed, I would begin to think - and to feel - such melancholy things.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Marcel Proust

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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marcel Proust

... we made much less happy by the kindness of a great writer, which strictly speaking we find only in his books, than we suffer from the hostility of a woman whom we have not chosen for her intelligence, but whom we cannot stop ourselves from loving.