Quotations From MARCEL PROUST


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  • The time at our disposal each day is elastic; the passions we feel dilate it, those that inspire us shrink it, and habit fills it.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. Nouvelle Revue Française (1918). Remembrance of Things Past, vol. II, Within a Budding Grove, p. 612, Pléiade (1954).

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  • I knew very well that this hope was chimerical. I was like a pauper who mingles fewer tears with his dry bread if he tells himself that at any moment a stranger will bequeath to him his fortune. We must all, in order to make reality more tolerable, keep alive in us a few little follies.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. Nouvelle Revue Française (1918). Remembrance of Things Past, vol. II, Within a Budding Grove, p. 591, Pléiade (1954). Marcel hopes to love Gilberte again.

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  • Three-quarters of the sicknesses of intelligent people come from their intelligence. They need at least a doctor who can understand this sickness.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. Nouvelle Revue Française (1918). Bergotte in Remembrance of Things Past, vol. II, Within a Budding Grove, p. 570, Pléiade (1954).

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  • Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. "Time Regained," vol. 12, ch. 3, Remembrance of Things Past (1927), trans. by Stephen Hudson (1931).

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  • A work of art that contains theories is like an object on which the price tag has been left.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. "Time Regained," vol. 12, ch. 3, Remembrance of Things Past (1927), trans. by Stephen Hudson (1931).

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  • Illness is the doctor to whom we pay most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promise only; pain we obey.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. "Cities of the Plain," vol. 1, pt. 2, ch. 1, Remembrance of Things Past (1922).

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  • For each illness that doctors cure with medicine, they provoke ten in healthy people by inoculating them with the virus that is a thousand times more powerful than any microbe: the idea that one is ill.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. Trans. by Ronald and Colette Cortie (1988). Dr. du Boulbon, in "The Guermantes Way," vol. 5, pt. 1, ch. 2, Remembrance of Things Past (1921).

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  • Besides, no matter how much I might speak to Gilberte, she would not hear me. We always believe that, when we speak, it is our ears, our mind that listen.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. Nouvelle Revue Française (1918). Remembrance of Things Past, vol. II, Within a Budding Grove, p. 612, Pléiade (1954).

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  • The paradoxes of today are the prejudices of tomorrow, since the most benighted and the most deplorable prejudices have had their moment of novelty when fashion lent them its fragile grace.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. "Regrets, Reveries, Changing Skies," no. 5, Pleasures and Regrets (1896, trans. 1948).

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  • Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. "Regrets, Reveries, Changing Skies," no. 12, Pleasures and Regrets (1896, trans. 1948).

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