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Quotations From MARCEL PROUST

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  • There is no man, however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. Elstir, in Within a Budding Grove, pt. 2, "Seascape, with Frieze of Girls," Remembrance of Things Past, vol. 4 (1918), trans. by Scott Moncrieff (1924).

    Read more quotations about / on: memory, life
  • The features of our face are hardly more than gestures which force of habit made permanent. Nature, like the destruction of Pompeii, like the metamorphosis of a nymph into a tree, has arrested us in an accustomed movement.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. "Within a Budding Grove," pt. 2, "Seascape, with Frieze of Girls," Remembrance of Things Past, vol. 4 (1918), trans. by Scott Monkrieff (1924).

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  • Theoretically, we know that the world turns, but in fact we do not notice it, the earth on which we walk does not seem to move and we live on in peace. This is how it is concerning Time in our lives. And to render its passing perceptible, novelists must... have their readers cross ten, twenty, thirty years in two minutes.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. Nouvelle Revue Française (1918). Remembrance of Things Past, vol. II, Within a Budding Grove, p. 482, Pléiade (1954).

    Read more quotations about / on: peace, time, world
  • That translucent alabaster of our memories.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. "The Captive," pt. 2, ch. 2, Remembrance of Things Past, vol. 10 (1923), trans. by Scott Moncrieff (1929).
  • No exile at the South Pole or on the summit of Mont Blanc separates us more effectively from others than the practice of a hidden vice.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. "The Captive," vol. 10, pt. 2, ch. 2, Remembrance of Things Past (1922), trans. by Scott Monkrieff (1929).
  • A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. "The Guermantes Way," pt. 2, ch. 2, Remembrance of Things Past, vol. 6 (1921), cit. By Ronald and Colette Cortie (1988).

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  • The moments of the past do not remain still; they retain in our memory the motion which drew them towards the future, towards a future which has itself become the past, and draw us on in their train.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. "The Sweet Cheat Gone," vol. 11, ch. 1, Remembrance of Things Past (1925), trans. by Scott Monkrieff (1930).

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  • I perceived that to express those impressions, to write that essential book, which is the only true one, a great writer does not, in the current meaning of the word, invent it, but, since it exists already in each one of us, interprets it. The duty and the task of a writer are those of an interpreter.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. "Time Regained," ch. 3, Remembrance of Things Past, vol. 12 (1927), trans. by Stephen Hudson (1931).
  • I was not at all worried about finding my doctor boring; I expected from him, thanks to an art of which the laws escaped me, that he pronounce concerning my health an indisputable oracle by consulting my entrails.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. Nouvelle Revue Française (1918). Remembrance of Things Past, vol. II, Within a Budding Grove, p. 571, Pléiade (1954).

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  • ... 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.
    Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist. Nouvelle Revue Française (1918). Remembrance of Things Past, vol. II, Within a Budding Grove, p. 569, Pléiade (1954).

    Read more quotations about / on: happy, woman
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