Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ― Marcel Proust
Desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade. ― Marcel Proust
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. ― Marcel Proust
Who is Marcel Proust? Marcel Proustor or Valentin Loius Eugene Marcel Proust was a French essayist, novelist and critic, better known for his phenomenal work in ‘A la recherché temps perdu’ (In Search of lost time).
The novel was pseudo autobiographical in nature, narrated in a stream-of-conscious style.
Marcel Proust released several volumes of this novel as ‘Swann’s way’ and ‘Within a Budding grove’ and many more.
He is considered as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century by the English critics.
He was an active member of the Parisian High society but started withdrawing himself from socializing due to his homosexuality and religion (as he was a Jew).
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Top 4 Marcel Proust quotes
1. Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life. ― Marcel Proust
2. All our final decisions are made in a state of mind that is not going to last. ― Marcel Prous
3. And then, gradually, the memory of her would fade away, I had forgotten the girl of my dream. ― Marcel Prous
4. A little tap at the window, as though some missile had struck it, followed by a plentiful, falling sound, as light, though, as if a shower of sand were being sprinkled from a window overhead; then the fall spread, took on an order, a rhythm, became liquid, loud, drumming, musical, innumerable, universal.
It was the rain. ― Marcel Prous
5. But let all this threaten to become impossible for ever, how beautiful it would become again! Ah! If only the cataclysm doesn’t happen this time,
we won’t miss visiting the new galleries of the Louvre, throwing ourselves at the feet of Miss X, making a trip to India. ― Marcel Prous
6. But sometimes illumination comes to our rescue at the very moment when all seems lost; we have knocked at every door and they open on nothing until, at last,
we stumble unconsciously against the only one through which we can enter the kingdom we have sought in vain a hundred years – and it opens. ― Marcel Prous
7. But genius, and even great talent, springs less from seeds of intellect and social refinement superior to those of other people than from the faculty of transforming and transposing them.
To heat a liquid with an electric lamp requires not the strongest lamp possible, but one of which the current can cease to illuminate, can be diverted so as to give heat instead of light.
To mount the skies it is not necessary to have the most powerful of motors, one must have a motor which,
instead of continuing to run along the earth’s surface, intersecting with a vertical line the horizontal line which it began by following,
is capable of converting its speed into lifting power.
Similarly, the men who produce works of genius are not those who live in the most delicate atmosphere,
whose conversation is the most brilliant or their culture the most extensive, but those who have had the power, ceasing suddenly to live only for themselves, to transform their personality into a sort of mirror, in such a way that their life,
however mediocre it may be socially and even, in a sense, intellectually, is reflected by it,
genius consisting in reflecting power and not in the intrinsic quality of the scene reflected. ― Marcel Proust
8. Desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade. ― Marcel Proust
9. Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself.
The writer’s work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader’s recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book’s truth. ― Marcel Proust
10. Every reader finds himself.
The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself. ― Marcel Prous
11. Everything great in the world is done by neurotics; they alone founded our religions and created our masterpieces. ― Marcel Proust
12. 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. ― Marcel Prous
13. 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. ― Marcel Prous
14. Even the simple act which we describe as ‘seeing someone we know’ is, to some extent, an intellectual process.
We pack the physical outline of the creature we see with all the ideas we already formed about him, and in the complete picture of him which we compose in our minds those ideas have certainly the principal place.
In the end they come to fill out so completely the curve of his cheeks, to follow so exactly the line of his nose, they blend so harmoniously in the sound of his voice that these seem to be no more than a transparent envelope,
so that each time we see the face or hear the voice it is our own ideas of him which we recognize and to which we listen. ― Marcel Proust
15. Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind. ― Marcel Proust
16. Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible. ― Marcel Prous
17. It comes so soon, the moment when there is nothing left to wait for. ― Marcel Proust
18. It is often hard to bear the tears that we ourselves have caused. ― Marcel Proust
19. It is our imagination that is responsible for love, not the other person. ― Marcel Prous
20. It is always thus, impelled by a state of mind which is destined not to last, we make our irrevocable decisions. ― Marcel Prous
21. If we are to make reality endurable, we must all nourish a fantasy or two. ― Marcel Prous
22. If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less, but to dream more, to dream all the time. ― Marcel Proust
23. I wished to see storms only on those coasts where they raged with most violence. ― Marcel Prous
24. I think that life would suddenly seem wonderful to us if we were threatened to die as you say.
Just think of how many projects, travels, love affairs, studies, it–our life–hides from us, made invisible by our laziness which, certain of a future, delays them incessantly. ― Marcel Prous
25. I felt myself still reliving a past which was no longer anything more than the history of another person. ― Marcel Prous
26. 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 Prous
27. I cannot express the uneasiness caused in me by this intrusion of mystery and beauty into a room I had at last filled with myself to the point of paying no more attention to the room than to that self.
The anesthetizing influence of habit having ceased, I would begin to have thoughts, and feelings, and they are such sad things. ― Marcel Proust
28. In reality, every reader is, while reading, the reader of his own self. ― Marcel Prous
29. In reality every reader is, while he is reading, the reader of his own self.
The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument which he offers to the reader to enable him to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have perceived in himself. ― Marcel Prous
30. 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 her. ― Marcel Prous
31. Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ― Marcel Proust
32. Let us leave pretty women to men with no imagination. ― Marcel Proust
33. Love is a striking example of how little reality means to us. ― Marcel Proust
34. Love is space and time measured by the heart. ― Marcel Prous
35. Love is not vain because it is frustrated, but because it is fulfilled. The people we love turn to ashes when we posess them. ― Marcel Proust
36. Like many intellectuals, he was incapable of saying a simple thing in a simple way. ― Marcel Proust
37. Hard people are weak people whom nobody wants, and the strong, caring little whether they are wanted or not, have alone that meekness which the common herd mistake for weakness. ― Marcel Prous
38. For, just as in the beginning it is formed by desire, so afterwards love is kept in existence only by painful anxiety. ― Marcel Prous
39. Forgetting that beauty and happiness are only ever incarnated in an individual person, we replace them in our minds by a conventional pattern,
a sort of average of all the different faces we have ever admired, all the different pleasures we have ever enjoyed,
and thus carry about with us abstract images, which are lifeless and uninspiring because they lack the very quality that something new,
something different from what is familiar, always possesses,
and which is the quality inseparable from real beauty and happiness.
So we make our pessimistic pronouncements on life, which we think are valid,
in the belief that we have taken account of beauty and happiness,
whereas we have actually omitted them from consideration,
substituting for them synthetic compounds that contain nothing of them. ― Marcel Prous
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40. She’s got feet like boats, whiskers like an American, and her undies are filthy. ― Marcel Proust
41. Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were. ― Marcel Proust
42. Reading is that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.”The true paradises are the paradises that we have lost. ― Marcel Proust
43. My destination is no longer a place, rather a new way of seeing. ― Marcel Proust
44. Mystery is not about traveling to new places but about looking with new eyes. ― Marcel Prous
45. May you always see a blue sky overhead, my young friend; and then, even when the time comes, as it has come for me now,
when the woods are black, when night is fast falling, you will be able to console yourself, as I do, by looking up at the sky. ― Marcel Proust
46. 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 Prous
47. The bonds between ourselves and another person exists only in our minds.
Memory as it grows fainter loosens them, and notwithstanding the illusion by which we want to be duped and which, out of love, friendship, politeness, deference, duty, we dupe other people, we exist alone.
Man is the creature who cannot escape from himself, who knows other people only in himself, and when he asserts the contrary, he is lying. ― Marcel Proust
48. The charms of a passing woman are usually in direct relation to the speed of her passing. ― Marcel Prous
49. The cataclysm doesn’t happen, we don’t do any of it, because we find ourselves back in the heart of normal life, where negligence deadens desire.
And yet we shouldn’t have needed the cataclysm to love life today.
It would have been enough to think that we are humans, and that death may come this evening. ― Marcel Prous
50. The only true paradise is paradise lost. ― Marcel Prous
51. The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes,
to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them sees. ― Marcel Prous
52. The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. ― Marcel Proust
53. The places we have known do not belong solely to the world of space in which we situate them for our greater convenience.
They were only a thin slice among contiguous impressions which formed our life at that time; the memory of a certain image is but regret for a certain moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fleeting, alas, as the years. ― Marcel Prous
54. 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. ― Marcel Proust
55. The thirst for something other than what we have…to bring something new, even if it is worse, some emotion, some sorrow;
when our sensibility, which happiness has silenced like an idle harp, wants to resonate under some hand,
even a rough one, and even if it might be broken by it. ― Marcel Proust
56. Through art alone are we able to emerge from ourselves, to know what another person sees of a universe which is not the same as our own and of which, without art, the landscapes would remain as unknown to us as those that may exist on the moon.
Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we see that world multiply itself and we have at our disposal as many worlds as there are original artists, worlds more different one from the other than those which revolve in infinite space, worlds which,
centuries after the extinction of the fire from which their light first emanated, whether it is called Rembrandt or Vermeer, send us still each one its special radiance. ― Marcel Proust
56. Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have of them. ― Marcel Proust
57. To be an artist is to fail, as no other dare to fail… failure is his world and the shrink from it desertion. ― Marcel Prous
58. These dreams reminded me that, since I wished some days to become a writer, it was high time to decide what sort of books I was going to write.
But as soon as I asked myself the question, and tried to discover some subject to which I could impart a philosophical significance of infinite value,
my mind would stop like a clock, my consciousness would be faced with a blank,
I would feel either that I was wholly devoid of talent or perhaps that some malady of the brain was hindering its development. ― Marcel Prous
59. Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we see that world multiply itself and we have at our disposal as many worlds as there are original artists,
worlds more different one from the other than those which revolve in infinite space, worlds which, centuries after the extinction of the fire from which their light first emanated, whether it is called Rembrandt or Vermeer,
send us still each one its special radiance. ― Marcel Proust
60. 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, we that is void of content. ― Marcel Proust
61. 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. ― Marcel Prous
62. There is no man…however wise, who has not at some period in his youth said things, or lived a life, the memory of which is so unpleasant to him that he would gladly expunge it.
And yet he ought not entirely to regret it, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man. ― Marcel Prous
63. There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we believe we left without having lived them, those we spent with a favorite book. ― Marcel Proust
64. Pleasures are like photographs: in the presence of the person we love, we take only negatives,
which we develop later, at home, when we have at our disposal once more our inner dark room, the door of which it is strictly forbidden to open while others are present. ― Marcel Prous
65. Perhaps it is not-being that is the true state, and all our dream of life is inexistent; but, if so, we feel that these phrases of music,
these conceptions which exist in relation to our dream, must be nothing either.
We shall perish, but we have as hostages these divine captives who will follow and share our fate. And death in their company is somehow less bitter, less inglorious, perhaps even less probable. ― Marcel Prous
66. People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad. ― Marcel Proust
67. People who are not in love fail to understand how an intelligent man can suffer because of a very ordinary woman.
This is like being surprised that anyone should be stricken with cholera because of a creature so insignificant as the common bacillus. ― Marcel Prous
68. One cannot change, that is to say become a different person, while continuing to acquiesce to the feelings of the person one has ceased to be. ― Marcel Prous
69. Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees. ― Marcel Proust
70. Our desires cut across one another, and in this confused existence it is rare for happiness to coincide with the desire that clamored for it. ― Marcel Prous
71. Our vanity, our passions, our spirit of imitation, our abstract intelligence,
our habits have long been at work, and it is the task of art to undo this work of theirs, making us travel back in the direction from which we have come to the depths where what has really existed lies unknown within us. ― Marcel Proust
72. Our worst fears, like our greatest hopes, are not outside our powers, and we can come in the end to triumph over the former and to achieve the latter. ― Marcel Proust
73. Many years have passed since that night.
The wall of the staircase up which I had watched the light of his candle gradually climb was long ago demolished.
And in myself, too, many things have perished which I imagined would last for ever, and new ones have arisen, giving birth to new sorrows and new joys which in those days I could not have foreseen, just as now the old are hard to understand. ― Marcel Prous
74. Now there is one thing I can tell you: you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now.
When you still had your mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer.
Now you will often think of days past when you had her. When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you.
At the present time, this is not yet possible.
Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power, that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you.
Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more. ― Marcel Proust
75. Now are the woods all black, But still the sky is blue. ― Marcel Prous
76. No doubt very few people understand the purely subjective nature of the phenomenon that we call love, or how it creates, so to speak,
a supplementary person, distinct from the person whom the world knows by the same name,
a person most of whose constituent elements are derived from ourselves. ― Marcel Prous
77. Nine tenths of the ills from which intelligent people suffer spring from their intellect. ― Marcel Prous
78. We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us. ― Marcel Proust
79. We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full. ― Marcel Proust
80. We are all of us obliged, if we are to make reality endurable, to nurse a few little follies in ourselves. ― Marcel Prous
81. We believe that we can change the things around us in accordance with our desires,
we believe it because otherwise we can see no favorable outcome.
We do not think of the outcome which generally comes to pass and is also favorable: we do not succeed in changing things in accordance with our desires, but gradually our desires change.
The situation that we hoped to change because it was intolerable becomes unimportant to us.
We have failed to surmount the obstacle, as we were absolutely determined to do, but life has taken us round it, led us beyond it, and then if we turn round to gaze into the distance of the past, we can barely see it, so imperceptible has it become. ― Marcel Prous
82. We have nothing to fear and a great deal to learn from trees, that vigorours and pacific tribe which without stint produces strengthening essences for us, soothing balms, and in whose gracious company we spend so many cool, silent, and intimate hours. ― Marcel Proust
83. We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us, which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world.
The lives that you admire, the attitudes that seem noble to you, have not been shaped by a paterfamilias or a schoolmaster,
they have sprung from very different beginnings, having been influenced by evil or commonplace that prevailed round them.
They represent a struggle and a victory. ― Marcel Proust
84. When nothing else subsists from the past, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered,
the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls,
bearing resiliently, on tiny and almost impalpable drops of their essence, the immense edifice of memory. ― Marcel Prous