Marcel Proust, born Valentin Louis Georges Eugene Marcel Proust, was a novelist, essayist, and critic from Auteuil, France. He is best known for his novel In Search Of Lost Time, which was published between 1913 and 1927 in seven different parts. He died in 1922 at the age of 51.
“A sort of egotistical self-evaluation is unavoidable in those joys in which erudition and art mingle and in which aesthetic pleasure may become more acute, but not remain as pure.
“A woman one loves rarely suffices for all our needs, so we deceive her with another whom we do not love.
“Adultery breathes new life into marriages which have been left for dead.
“All our final decisions are made in a state of mind that is not going to last.
“Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life.
“As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost and science can never regress.
“Desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade.
“Even in the most insignificant details of our daily life, none of us can be said to constitute a material whole, which is identical for everyone, and need only be turned up like a page in
an account-book or the record of a will; our social personality is created by the thoughts of other people.
“Everything great in the world is done by neurotics; they alone founded our religions and created our masterpieces.
“From that instant I had not to take another step; the ground moved forward under my feet in that garden where, for so long, my actions had ceased to require any control, or even attention,
from my will. Custom came to take me in her arms, carried me all the way up to my bed, and laid me down there like a little child.
“Habit is a second nature which prevents us from knowing the first, of which it has neither the cruelties nor the enchantments.
“Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.
“I shall not find a painting more beautiful because the artist has painted a hawthorn in the foreground, though I know of nothing more beautiful than the hawthorn, for I wish to remain
sincere and because I know that the beauty of a painting does not depend on the things represented in it. I shall not collect images of hawthorn. I do not venerate hawthorn, I go to see and
“If only for the sake of elegance, I try to remain morally pure.”
“In a separation it is the one who is not really in love who says the more tender things.”
“In his younger days a man dreams of possessing the heart of the woman whom he loves; later, the feeling that he possesses the heart of a woman may be enough to make him fall in love with
“In love, happiness is an abnormal state.”
“It comes so soon, the moment when there is nothing left to wait for.”
“It is not because other people are dead that our affection for them grows faint, it is because we ourselves are dying.”
“It is often hard to bear the tears that we ourselves have caused.”
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy: They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom”
“Like everybody who is not in love, he imagined that one chose the person whom one loved after endless deliberations and on the strength of various qualities and advantages.”
“Like many intellectuals, he was incapable of saying a simple thing in a simple way.”
“Love is a striking example of how little reality means to us.”
“Love is space and time measured by the heart.”
“Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees.”
“Reading is that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.”
“Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.”
“The bonds that unite another person to our self exist only in our mind.”
“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, of
a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is.”
“The time which we have at our disposal every day is elastic; the passions that we feel expand it, those that we inspire contract it; and habit fills up what remains.”
“The true paradises are the paradises that we have lost.”
“There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.”
“There is no idea that does not carry in itself a possible refutation, no word that does not imply its opposite.”
“There is no one, no matter how wise he is, who has not in his youth said things or done things that are so unpleasant to recall in later life that he would expunge them entirely from his
memory if that were possible.”
“There was nothing abnormal about it when homosexuality was the norm.”
“Those whose suffering is due to love are, as we say of certain invalids, their own physicians.”
“Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have retained of them.”
“We are healed from suffering only by experiencing it to the full.”
“We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us.”
“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.”
“We feel in one world, we think and name in another. Between the two we can set up a system of references, but we cannot fill in the gap.”