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32 Major Quotes from Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time

Last updated on May 19th, 2020

32 Major Quotes from Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time

In Search of Lost Time (also known as Remembrance of Things Past) is a novel written by Marcel Proust. The work was published in French as À la recherche du temps perdu from 1913 to 1927.

The novel follows the experiences and childhood of the Narrator, as he grows up, participates in society, and falls in love.

It consists of seven volumes: Swann’s Way, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, The Guermantes Way, Sodom and Gomorrah, The Prisoner, The Fugitive, and Time Regained.

In Search of Lost Time is considered the major work of French fiction of the 20th century.

Love is space and time made perceptible to the heart. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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Love is space and time made perceptible to the heart.Vol. V: The Prisoner (1923)
Happiness is salutary for the body but sorrow develops the powers of the spirit. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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Happiness is salutary for the body but sorrow develops the powers of the spirit.Vol. VII: Time Regained (1927)
We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.Chapter One, Vol. VI: The Fugitive (1925)
The time which we have at our disposal every day is elastic; the passions that we feel expand it, those that we inspire contract it; and habit fills up what remains. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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The time which we have at our disposal every day is elastic; the passions that we feel expand it, those that we inspire contract it; and habit fills up what remains.Part One, Vol. II: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919)
For one disorder that doctors cure with medicaments they produce a dozen others in healthy subjects by inoculating them with that pathogenic agent a thousand times more virulent than all the microbes in the world, the idea that one is ill. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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For one disorder that doctors cure with medicaments they produce a dozen others in healthy subjects by inoculating them with that pathogenic agent a thousand times more virulent than all the microbes in the world, the idea that one is ill.Part One, Vol. III: The Guermantes Way (1920/1921)
Through art alone are we able to emerge from ourselves, to know what another person sees of a universe. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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Through art alone are we able to emerge from ourselves, to know what another person sees of a universe.Vol. VII: Time Regained (1927)
We are all of us obliged, if we are to make reality endurable, to nurse a few little follies in ourselves. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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We are all of us obliged, if we are to make reality endurable, to nurse a few little follies in ourselves.Part One, Vol. II: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919)
Let us leave pretty women to men with no imagination. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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Let us leave pretty women to men with no imagination.Chapter One, Vol. VI: The Fugitive (1925)
The loss of a sense adds as much beauty to the world as its acquisition. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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The loss of a sense adds as much beauty to the world as its acquisition.Part One, Vol. III: The Guermantes Way (1920/1921)
The particulars of life do not matter to the artist; they merely provide him with the opportunity to lay bare his genius. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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The particulars of life do not matter to the artist; they merely provide him with the opportunity to lay bare his genius.Part Two, Vol. II: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919)
Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible.Vol. VII: Time Regained (1927)
The truth is that men can have several sorts of pleasure. The true pleasure is the one for which they abandon the other. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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The truth is that men can have several sorts of pleasure. The true pleasure is the one for which they abandon the other.Part Two, Chapter One, Vol. IV: Sodom and Gomorrah (1921/1922)
A language which we do not know is a fortress sealed. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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A language which we do not know is a fortress sealed.Part One, Vol. II: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919)
It is in sickness that we are compelled to recognise that we do not live alone but are chained to a being from a different realm, from whom we are worlds apart, who has no knowledge of us and by whom it is impossible to make ourselves understood: our body. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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It is in sickness that we are compelled to recognise that we do not live alone but are chained to a being from a different realm, from whom we are worlds apart, who has no knowledge of us and by whom it is impossible to make ourselves understood: our body.Part I, Vol. III: The Guermantes Way (1920/1921)
We do not succeed in changing things in accordance with our desires, but gradually our desires change. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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We do not succeed in changing things in accordance with our desires, but gradually our desires change.Chapter One, Vol. VI: The Fugitive (1925)
The courage of one's opinions is always a form of calculating cowardice in the eyes of the other side. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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The courage of one’s opinions is always a form of calculating cowardice in the eyes of the other side.Part Two, Vol. I: Swann's Way (1913)
Like a kaleidoscope which is every now and then given a turn, society arranges successively in different orders elements which one would have supposed immutable, and composes a new pattern. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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Like a kaleidoscope which is every now and then given a turn, society arranges successively in different orders elements which one would have supposed immutable, and composes a new pattern.Part One, Vol. II: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919)
For our greatest fears like our greatest hopes are not beyond our capacity and it is possible to end by dominating the first and realising the second. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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For our greatest fears like our greatest hopes are not beyond our capacity and it is possible to end by dominating the first and realising the second.Vol. VII: Time Regained (1927)
So long as I know what's boiling in my pot I don't bother my head about what's in other people's. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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So long as I know what’s boiling in my pot I don’t bother my head about what’s in other people’s.Part I, Vol. III: The Guermantes Way (1920/1921)
If a little day-dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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If a little day-dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time.Part Two, Vol. II: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919)
It is not only by dint of lying to other people but also by lying to oneself that one ceases to be aware that one is lying. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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It is not only by dint of lying to other people but also by lying to oneself that one ceases to be aware that one is lying.Part Two, Chapter Two, Vol. IV: Sodom and Gomorrah (1921/1922)
Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life.Part One, Vol. I: Swann's Way (1913)
The reason why a work of genius is not easily admired from the first is that the man who has created it is extraordinary, that few other men resemble him. It is his work itself that, by fertilising the rare minds capable of understanding it, will make them increase and multiply. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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The reason why a work of genius is not easily admired from the first is that the man who has created it is extraordinary, that few other men resemble him. It is his work itself that, by fertilising the rare minds capable of understanding it, will make them increase and multiply.Part One, Vol. II: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919)
Sometimes in this life, under the stress of an exceptional emotion, people do say what they think. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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Sometimes in this life, under the stress of an exceptional emotion, people do say what they think.Part II, Chapter Two, Vol. III: The Guermantes Way (1920/1921)
Illness is the most heeded of doctors: to kindness and wisdom we make promises only; pain we obey. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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Illness is the most heeded of doctors: to kindness and wisdom we make promises only; pain we obey.Part Two, Chapter One, Vol. IV: Sodom and Gomorrah (1921/1922)
The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes.Vol. V: The Prisoner (1923)
We ought at least, from prudence, never to speak of ourselves, because that is a subject on which we may be sure that other people's views are never in accordance with our own. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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We ought at least, from prudence, never to speak of ourselves, because that is a subject on which we may be sure that other people’s views are never in accordance with our own.Part Two, Vol. II: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919)
A man cannot change, that is to say become another person, while continuing to obey the dictates of the self which he has ceased to be. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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A man cannot change, that is to say become another person, while continuing to obey the dictates of the self which he has ceased to be.Part Two, Vol. I: Swann's Way (1913)
If there is one thing more difficult than submitting oneself to a regime it is refraining from imposing it on other people. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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If there is one thing more difficult than submitting oneself to a regime it is refraining from imposing it on other people.Part Two, Chapter Three, Vol. IV: Sodom and Gomorrah (1921/1922)
A photograph acquires something of the dignity which it ordinarily lacks when it ceases to be a reproduction of reality and shows us things that no longer exist. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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A photograph acquires something of the dignity which it ordinarily lacks when it ceases to be a reproduction of reality and shows us things that no longer exist.Part Two, Vol. II: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919)
Love, even in its humblest beginnings, is a striking example of how little reality means to us. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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Love, even in its humblest beginnings, is a striking example of how little reality means to us.Chapter Two, Vol. VI: The Fugitive (1925)
Time which changes human beings does not alter the image which we have preserved of them. - Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time Quotes)
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Time which changes human beings does not alter the image which we have preserved of them.Vol. VII: Time Regained (1927)