In the case of Albertine, I felt that I should never discover anything, that, out of that tangled mass of details of fact and falsehood, I should never unravel the truth: and that it would always be so, unless I were to shut her up in prison (but prisoners escape) until the end.

Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust

Profession: Author
Nationality: French

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There is no need, in order to explain three-quarters of the opinions held about people, to go so far as a love that has been spurned or an exclusion from political power. Our judgment remains unsure: an invitation refused or received determines it.

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.

The person with whom we are in love is to be recognised only by the intensity of the pain that we suffer.

You cannot be surprised at anything men do, they're such brutes.

My mother had to abandon the quest, but managed to extract from the restriction itself a further refinement of thought, as great poets do when the tyranny of rhyme forces them into the discovery of their finest lines.

And often, when the cold government of reason stood unchallenged, he would readily have ceased to sacrifice so many of his intellectual and social interests to this imaginary pleasure.

A slap in the face or a box on the ear helps to educate not only children but poets.

A certain similarity exists, although the type evolves, between all the women we love, a similarity that is due to the fixity of our own temperament, which it is that chooses them, eliminating all those who would not be at once our opposite and our complement, fitted that is to say to gratify our senses and to wring our heart.

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.

Then it would begin to seem unintelligible, as the thoughts of a former existence must be to a reincarnate spirit.

Mystery is not about traveling to new places but about looking with new eyes.

With the wisdom of people not in love who believe a man of sense should be unhappy only over a person who is worth it; which is rather like being surprised that anyone should condescend to suffer from cholera because of so small a creature as the comma bacillus.

On no days of our childhood did we live so fully perhaps as those we thought we had left behind without living them, those that we spent with a favourite book.

Dreams are not to be converted into reality, that we know; we would not form any, perhaps, were it not for desire, and it is useful to us to form them in order to see them fail and to be instructed by their failure.