26 Marcel Proust Quotes to Inspire and Enrich Your Perspective

Marcel Proust was born July 10th, 1871, in a small borough outside Paris, France. 

His birth name was Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust.

Proust eventually became a novelist and authored the celebrated classic In Search of Lost Time

He is considered to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. 

Tell us your favorite Marcel Proust quote in the comments below!

The benefits of reading Marcel Proust quotes

Proust is revered as a beautiful writer who could paint vivid and inspiring pictures with his words. 

He was a lover and scholar of art and was particularly interested in the role of the artist in society. 

Both in his writing and in real life, Proust cherished love, beauty, and happiness. 

His epic novel (which is the longest novel ever written), In Search of Lost Time, tells the story of his life’s crusade to appreciate every moment of existence.

In fact, many of Proust’s works include themes of time, memories, and the power of art.

Reading Marcel Proust quotes will inspire you to appreciate every experience life has to offer. 

To enjoy life’s simple pleasures, cherish beautiful moments, and fiercely embrace love and passion. 

As a child, Proust was considered frail and was frequently in poor health. 

He suffered from asthma which often interrupted his studies. 

Despite this, he always excelled at literature, winning an award for his accomplishments in the subject during his final year of school. 

In addition to In Search of Lost Time (considered his most significant work), Proust also published a number of other writings (some posthumously).

His other publications include:

  • Jean Santeuil (a novel published posthumously in 1952)
  • Short story collections Pleasures and Days and Early Stories
  • Several non-fiction works
  • Two translations of John Ruskin’s works, Sesame and Lillies and The Bible of Amiens 
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Marcel Proust quotes about love

These Marcel Proust quotes about love prove that heartbreak and love go hand-in-hand.

1. “Love is a reciprocal torture.” ― Marcel Proust

2. “Love is space and time measured by the heart.” ― Marcel Proust

3. “In a separation it is the one who is not really in love who says the more tender things.” ― Marcel Proust

4. “Those whose suffering is due to love are, as we say of certain invalids, their own physicians.” ― Marcel Proust

5. “Like everybody who is not in love, he thought one chose the person to be loved after endless deliberations and on the basis of particular qualities or advantages.” ― Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust quotes about life and happiness

Get inspired to live life to the fullest with these Marcel Proust quotes about life and happiness. 

6. “Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life.” ― Marcel Proust

7. “We must never be afraid to go too far, for truth lies beyond.” ― Marcel Proust

8. “Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible.” ― Marcel Proust

9. “We do not succeed in changing things according to our desire, but gradually our desire changes.” ― Marcel Proust

10. “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ― Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust quotes about wisdom, intelligence, and desire

Marcel Proust quotes about wisdom, intelligence, and desire are truly thought-provoking.

11. “Like many intellectuals, he was incapable of saying a simple thing in a simple way.” ― Marcel Proust

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12. “Desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade.” ― Marcel Proust

13. “We do not succeed in changing things according to our desire, but gradually our desire changes.” ― Marcel Proust

14. “We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.” ― Marcel Proust

15. “Three-quarters of the sicknesses of intelligent people come from their intelligence. They need at least a doctor who can understand this sickness.” ― Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust quotes about time

You’ll find wise words in these Marcel Proust quotes about time

16. “We take cognisance of this moving universe whirled along by time.” ― Marcel Proust

17. “Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have retained of them.” ― Marcel Proust

18. “Time passes, and little by little everything that we have spoken in falsehood becomes true.” ― Marcel Proust

19. “The time at our disposal each day is elastic; the passions we feel dilate it, those that inspire us shrink it, and habit fills it.” ― Marcel Proust

20. “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.” ― Marcel Proust

Short Marcel Proust quotes

Enjoy these sweet and short Marcel Proust quotes! 

21.“We become moral when we are unhappy.” ― Marcel Proust

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22. “We are healed from suffering only by experiencing it to the full.” ― Marcel Proust

23. “All our final decisions are made in a state of mind that is not going to last.” ― Marcel Proust

24. “A powerful idea communicates some of its strength to him who challenges it.” ― Marcel Proust

25. “People wish to learn to swim and at the same time to keep one foot on the ground.” ― Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust inspires us to live authentically 

Even in the conservative time of the late 1800s and early 1900s, Marcel Proust was not afraid to live authentically. 

As many of his novels insinuate (and many of his real-life friends and colleagues would later confirm), Proust was believed to be homosexual.  

Living in an era when it was taboo and even dangerous to be openly gay, Proust did little to hide his true sexual orientation from the world. 

He did not shy away from sharing his love for new experiences, passion, and desire, regardless of how others may have judged him for it. 

He was a pioneer for authentic self-expression in his life and in his writing. 

His words will continue to inspire readers to seize each day and revel in all its glorious offerings.

Tell us your favorite Marcel Proust quote in the comments section below!

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