Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust (1871 – 1922) was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental novel À la recherche du temps perdu ( In Search of Lost Time ; earlier rendered as Remembrance of Things Past ), published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927. He is considered by critics and writers to be one of the most influential authors of the 20th century.
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“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
“Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.”
“Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer’s work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book."
“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us…We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.”
"The lives that you admire, the attitudes that seem noble to you, have not been shaped by a paterfamilias or a schoolmaster, they have sprung from very different beginnings, having been influenced by an evil or a commonplace that prevailed round them. They represent a struggle and a victory.”
“There is no one, no matter how wise he is, who has not in his youth said
things or done things that are so unpleasant to recall in later life that
he would expunge them entirely from his memory if that were possible.”
“Many years have passed since that night. The wall of the staircase up which I had watched the light of his candle gradually climb was long ago demolished. And in myself, too, many things have perished which I imagined would last for ever, and new ones have arisen, giving birth to new sorrows and new joys which in those days I could not have foreseen, just as now the old are hard to understand.”