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Marcel Proust (1871 – 1922)


) was a French novelist, essayist and critic.
Marcel Proust
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 smell it.
Proust quotes
Il n'y avait pas d'anormaux quand l'homosexualité était la norme.
Proust
? partir de cet instant, je n’avais plus un seul pas ? faire, le sol marchait pour moi dans ce jardin o? depuis si longtemps mes actes avaient cessé d’?tre accompagnés d’attention volontaire: l’Habitude venait de me prendre dans ses bras et me portait jusqu’? mon lit comme un petit enfant.




Proust Marcel quotes
Il n'y a pas une idée qui ne porte en elle sa réfutation possible, un mot, le mot contraire.
Proust Marcel
The son of well-to-do parents who ... engages in a so-called intellectual profession, as an artist or a scholar, will have a particularly difficult time with those bearing the distasteful title of colleagues. It is not merely that his independence is envied, the seriousness of his intentions mistrusted, that he is suspected of being a secret envoy of the established powers. ... The real resistance lies elsewhere. The occupation with things of the mind has by now itself become “practical,” a business with strict division of labor, departments and restricted entry. The man of independent means who chooses it out of repugnance for the ignominy of earning money will not be disposed to acknowledge the fact. For this he is punished. He ... is ranked in the competitive hierarchy as a dilettante no matter how well he knows his subject, and must, if he wants to make a career, show himself even more resolutely blinkered than the most inveterate specialist. The urge to suspend the division of labor which, within certain limits, his economic situation enables him to satisfy, is thought particularly disreputable: it betrays a disinclination to sanction the operations imposed by society, and domineering competence permits no such idiosyncrasies. The departmentalization of mind is a means of abolishing mind where it is not exercised ex officio, under contract. It performs this task all the more reliably since anyone who repudiates this division of labor—if only by taking pleasure in his work—makes himself vulnerable by its standards, in ways inseparable from elements of his superiority. Thus is order ensured: some have to play the game because they cannot otherwise live, and those who could live otherwise are kept out because they do not want to play the game.
Marcel Proust quotes
Les liens entre un ?tre et nous n'existent que dans notre pensée. La mémoire en s'affaiblissant les relâche, et, malgré l'illusion dont nous voudrions ?tre dupes et dont, par amour, par amitié, par politesse, par respect humain, par devoir, nous dupons les autres, nous existons seuls. L'homme est l'?tre qui ne peut sortir de soi, qui ne connaît les autres qu'en soi, et, en disant le contraire, ment.
Marcel Proust
Nous n'arrivons pas ? changer les choses selon notre désir, mais peu ? peu notre désir change. La situation que nous espérions changer parce qu'elle nous était insupportable, nous devient indifférente. Nous n'avons pas pu surmonter l'obstacle, comme nous le voulions absolument, mais la vie nous l'a fait tourner, dépasser, et c'est ? peine alors si en nous retournant vers le lointain du passé nous pouvons l'apercevoir, tant il est devenu imperceptible.
Proust Marcel quotes
[Music] a pederast might hum when raping a choirboy.
Proust
Aussi, les demeures disposées des deux côtés du chenal faisaient penser ? des sites de la nature, mais d'une nature qui aurait créé ses ?vres avec une imagination humaine.
Proust Marcel
A man is not more entitled to be "received in good society," or at least to wish to be, because he is more intelligent and cultivated. This is one of those sophisms that the vanity of intelligent people picks up in the arsenal of their intelligence to justify their basest inclinations. In other words, having become more intelligent creates some rights to be less. Very simply, diverse personalities are to be found in the breast of each of us, and often the life of more than one superior man is nothing but the coexistence of a philosopher and a snob. Actually, there are very few philosophers and artists who are absolutely detached from ambition and respect for power, from "people of position." And among those who are more delicate or more sated, snobism replaces ambition and respect for power in the same way superstition arises on the ruins of religious beliefs. Morality gains nothing there. Between a worldly philosopher and a philosopher intimidated by a minister of state, the second is still the more innocent.
Marcel Proust
Ce qu'on appelle la postérité, c'est la postérité de l'?uvre.




Marcel Proust quotes
Le bonheur est salutaire pour le corps, mais c'est le chagrin qui développe les forces de l'esprit.
Marcel Proust
On ne guérit d'une souffrance qu'? condition de l'éprouver pleinement.
Proust quotes
Le temps dont nous disposons chaque jour est élastique; les passions que nous ressentons le dilatent, celles que nous inspirons le rétrécissent et l'habitude le remplit.
Proust Marcel
Le seul véritable voyage, le seul bain de Jouvence, ce ne serait pas d'aller vers de nouveaux paysages, mais d'avoir d'autres yeux, de voir l'univers avec les yeux d'un autre, de cent autres, de voir les cent univers que chacun d'eux voit, que chacun d'eux est.
Proust Marcel quotes
Une femme est d'une plus grande utilité pour notre vie si elle y est, au lieu d'un élément de bonheur, un instrument de chagrin, et il n'y en a pas une seule dont la possession soit aussi précieuse que celle des vérités qu'elle nous découvre en nous faisant souffrir.
Marcel Proust
Ch. III: "An Afternoon Party at the House of the Princesse de Guermantes"
Marcel Proust quotes
Proust was the greatest novelist of the twentieth century, just as Tolstoy was in the nineteenth.
Marcel Proust
L'amour, c'est l'espace et le temps rendus sensibles au coeur.
Proust Marcel
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.


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