As a man with imagination you can enjoy only in regret or in anticipation—that is, in the past or in the future.

Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust

Profession: Author
Nationality: French

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I fatti non penetrano nel mondo in cui vivono le nostre convinzioni, non le hanno create e non possono distruggerle. Possono infliggere loro continue smentite senza appannarle.

This rubicund youth, with his blunt features, appeared for all the world to have a tomato instead of a head.

The two chief causes of error in our relations with another person are, having ourselves a good heart, or else being in love with the other person.

Like an entirely cloudless sky when one is going mountaineering...

The inertia of the mind urges it to slide down the easy slope of imagination, rather than to climb the steep slope of introspection.

Happiness contracted by the cold, forced to withdraw into itself, to close into its heart, it is there that I find the greatest intensity. It is true that I have only ever experienced it through sadness. But it is always the same.

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.

Aristocracy is relative: there are all sorts of inexpensive little resorts where the son of a furniture salesman may be the arbiter of all things elegant, holding court like a young Prince of Wales.

A general is like a writer who wants to write a play, or a book, but whom the book itself, with the unexpected options that it reveals at one point, the impasse it presents at another, causes to deviate extensively from his preconceived plan.

If the theater is the refuge of the conversationalist whose friend is mute and whose mistress is insipid, then conversation, even the most exquisite, is the pleasure of men without imagination.

Like a fruit hidden among its leaves, which has grown and ripened unobserved by man, until it falls of its own accord, there came upon us one night the kitchen-maid's confinement.

When you work to please others you can't succeed, but the things you do to satisfy yourself stand a chance of catching someone's interest.

Then his jealousy rejoiced at the discovery, as though that jealousy had had an independent existence, fiercely egotistical, gluttonous of every thing that would feed its vitality, even at the expense of Swann himself.

There are mountainous, arduous days, up which one takes an infinite time to climb, and downward-sloping days which one can descend at full tilt, singing as one goes.