The 53 best phrases of Marcel Proust
Sep 14, 2021
Reading the most inspired phrases of Marcel Prous is a way to recognize genius of this writer. We are surely facing one of the most important novelists of 19th and 20th century France, both for his status as a brilliant writer and for his overwhelming philosophical theory. Born in Paris into a wealthy and traditionalist family, Valentin Louis Eugène Marcel Proust (1872 - 1922) did not have an easy life.
Already at an early age, he suffered physical difficulties that seriously affected his health, especially caused by asthma. Then, the overprotection that he received from his spouses meant an important parental dependency, a fact that affected him when his mother died suddenly.
Nevertheless, this sedentary life served him to cultivate an exciting and imaginative inner world, which brought him back to his memories over and over again. This was embodied in his creativity and wisdom: even if we can barely get out of bed, life goes on.
- Related article: "100 phrases from famous books and writers (essential)"
Marcel Proust's most memorable phrases
In this article we will review the most relevant Marcel Proust phrases of the French author.
1. Nine-tenths of the ills that people suffer arise from their intellect
Curious way to challenge human intelligence.
2. It is not only by dint of lying to others, but also by lying to ourselves, that we stop noticing that we are lying
It is the number one rule for knowing how to lie.
3. Desire makes everything flourish; Possession makes it all fade away
Proust knew firsthand what it meant to be possessive.
4. People don't know when they are happy. They are never as unhappy as they think they are
For Marcel, happiness was a lack in society.
5. The ties that bind us to another human being are sanctified when he or she adopts the same point of view
In life we interact with people who look like us.
6. Let's give thanks to the people who make us happy; they are the lovely gardeners who make our soul bloom
A great way to know how to be grateful to others.
7. From a certain age we pretend that we do not care about the things we want the most
According to Proust, priorities change when we do not achieve the objectives set a priori.
8. One does not change, becoming a different person, without ceasing to feel the feelings of the person that one has ceased to be
Marcel perfectly describes a truth that is often rejected.
9. All of our final decisions are made in a state that won't last
Nothing is right or wrong. Everything can vary depending on the moment.
10. The only true paradise is paradise lost
Curious way to describe a place so desired by humans.
11. We do not receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves
For Marcel Proust one should reach knowledge in a self-taught way.
12. The things we want the most are the things we pretend not to want
We are made to hide what we most long for.
13. We lie all our lives even, or especially or maybe only, to those who love us
In this sentence the great truth of any society is collected.
14. It is better to dream your own life than to live it, although living it is also dreaming it
Be that as it may, we must enjoy our day to day.
15. The only true voyage of discovery consists not in searching for new landscapes, but in looking with new eyes
It all depends on how we approach changes, how we look towards new experiences.
16. Jealousy, spending time making false assumptions, when it comes to discovering the truth
In this phrase by Marcel Proust it is perfectly described such a worrying feeling for two people who love each other.
- Related article: "The types of jealousy and their different characteristics"
17. Happiness in love is not a normal state
Marcel Proust was a great defender of love, but he did not confuse this state with happiness.
18. Sometimes we are too willing to believe that the present is the only possible state of affairs
The French author also always liked to look beyond the day to day.
20. Ambition intoxicates more than glory
The desire to want to achieve something is very attractive and stimulating.
21. Love is space and time measured by the heart
Excellent way to describe love.
22. For the kiss, the nose and eyes are as badly positioned as the lips are badly done
Marcel Proust was a genius when it came to describing situations. The kiss was a phenomenon to which he paid special attention.
23. Jealousy is currently nothing more than a restless tyranny applied to the affairs of love.
Again, make us aware of what jealousy means.
24. Every kiss calls another kiss
The kiss is something addictive between two people who love each other.
25. True happiness does not consist in finding new lands, but in seeing with different eyes
Already mentioned something about it, Marcel Proust insists once again on how to face new experiences.
- Related article: "The 10 keys to being happy, according to science"
26. It would be so difficult to cut the kisses that are given in an hour, like the flowers of a field in the month of May
This phrase manages to perfectly describe what the act of kissing means.
27. So it is with our past. It is wasted work to want to evoke it, and all the efforts of our intelligence are useless
You always have to look ahead.
28. My cowardice made me a man at the same time, and I did what all men who looked at suffering and injustice face to face
Marcel had a difficult childhood and adolescence.
29. Happiness is beneficial for the body, it is pain that develops the powers of the mind
According to Proust we should try to be as least skeptical as possible.
30. Little by little, the memory that disappeared, I had forgotten the girl of my dreams
An example of how it is the nostalgic style of this writer.
31. It is often hard to bear the tears that we have caused ourselves
Hurting others hurts us first.
32. Always try to keep a piece of heaven above your life
The illusion and imagination make our short life a good stimulus.
33. We have the misfortune to belong to this world
The author was a bit negative towards the human being.
34. If a little dream is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less, it is to dream all the time
Even if we are disappointed by an illusion, we must not lose it for the future.
35. How naturally kisses are born in those early days of love!
Marcel was obsessed with kisses.
36. We are cured of suffering only by experiencing it to the fullest
Only by living several bad experiences can we overcome them.
37. Dear friend, I have died almost three times since this morning
We do not know exactly what the author means by this phrase.
38. Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have of them
No matter how we change or transform, that often does not change for others.
39. Love is a remarkable example of how little reality means to us
Great way to describe the feeling of love.
- Related article: "Psychology of love: this is how our brain changes when we find a partner"
40. The time we have is elastic; the passions we feel expand it, dreams contract it; and habit fills what remains
This was life for Marcel Proust.
41. The moment comes so soon, when there is nothing to hope for
Things come, you just have to wait for them.
42. My destiny is no longer a place, but a new way of seeing
Face life according to the reality that we project.
43. Reading is the fruitful miracle of communication in the midst of loneliness
Reading is always an advantage both on a personal and professional level.
44. Love, always unsatisfied, lives in the moment when it is about to arrive
Love was a very present theme for Marcel Proust.
45. Like many intellectuals, he was unable to say a simple thing in a simple way.
The intelligentsia sometimes makes we do not know how to describe our thoughts well.
46. Let's leave pretty women to men without imagination
Strong statement that if it had been written today would cause controversy but was normal in the context of Proust's time.
47. It is always like this, driven by a state of mind that is destined not to last, we make our decisions irrevocable
Temperament plays tricks on us on many occasions.
48. Only through art can we get out of ourselves and know what another person sees
Art makes us evade, excites us and heals disappointment.
49. Be wary of the man who never cries, he is usually the most cowardly
Proust was known for his sensitivity openly stated, rare in men of his time.
50. We must be brave facing our own contradictions, rather than highlighting that of others
To criticize others, we must be better.
51. Falling in love is the last vital state of our existence
Love seems to be the final state of our life.
52. When you make an unwanted decision, do not regret it in posterity
Marcel Proust was very little given to repentance.
53. If you don't like the reality you live in, make it up
The author once again insists that everything depends on the point of view with which we project our reality.