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 :: 1871-1922, French Novelist

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Lies are essential to humanity. They are perhaps as important as the pursuit of pleasure and moreover are dictated by that pursuit.
~ Marcel Proust - [Lies and Lying]

 

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Life is extraordinarily suave and sweet with certain natural, witty, affectionate people who have unusual distinction and are capable of every vice, but who make a display of none in public and about whom no one can affirm they have a single one. There is something supple and secret about them. Besides, their perversity gives spice to their most innocent occupations, such as taking a walk in the garden at night.
~ Marcel Proust - [Vice]

 

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Neurosis has an absolute genius for malingering. There is no illness which it cannot counterfeit perfectly. If it is capable of deceiving the doctor, how should it fail to deceive the patient?
~ Marcel Proust - [Neurosis]

 

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No exile at the South Pole or on the summit of Mont Blanc separates us more effectively from others than the practice of a hidden vice.
~ Marcel Proust - [Vice]

 

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Often it is just lack of imagination that keeps a man from suffering very much.
~ Marcel Proust - [Imagination]

 

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Our intellect is not the most subtle, the most powerful, the most appropriate, instrument for revealing the truth. It is life that, little by little, example by example, permits us to see that what is most important to our heart, or to our mind, is learned not by reasoning but through other agencies. Then it is that the intellect, observing their superiority, abdicates its control to them upon reasoned grounds and agrees to become their collaborator and lackey.
~ Marcel Proust - [Intelligence and Intellectuals]

 

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Our memory is like a shop in the window of which is exposed now one, now another photograph of the same person. And as a rule the most recent exhibit remains for some time the only one to be seen.
~ Marcel Proust - [Memory]

 

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People have many different kinds of pleasure. The real one is that for which they will forsake the others.
~ Marcel Proust - [Pleasure]

 

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People who are not in love fail to understand how an intelligent man can suffer because of a very ordinary woman. This is like being surprised that anyone should be stricken with cholera because of a creature so insignificant as the comma bacillus.
~ Marcel Proust - [Love]

 

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People wish to learn to swim and at the same time to keep one foot on the ground.
~ Marcel Proust - [Risk]

 

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That translucent alabaster of our memories.
~ Marcel Proust - [Memory]

 

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The ''sensitiveness'' claimed by neurotic is matched by their egotism: they cannot abide the flaunting by others of the sufferings to which they pay an even increasing amount of attention in themselves.
~ Marcel Proust - [Neurosis]

 

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The bonds that unite another person to our self exist only in our mind.
~ Marcel Proust - [Relationships]

 

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The charms of the passing woman are generally in direct proportion to the swiftness of her passing.
~ Marcel Proust - [Charm]

 

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The features of our face are hardly more than gestures which force of habit made permanent. Nature, like the destruction of Pompeii, like the metamorphosis of a nymph into a tree, has arrested us in an accustomed movement.
~ Marcel Proust - [Faces]

 

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The human plagiarism which is most difficult to avoid, for individuals... is the plagiarism of ourselves.
~ Marcel Proust - [Plagiarism]

 

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The moments of the past do not remain still; they retain in our memory the motion which drew them towards the future, towards a future which has itself become the past, and draw us on in their train.
~ Marcel Proust - [Past]

 

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The paradoxes of today are the prejudices of tomorrow, since the most benighted and the most deplorable prejudices have had their moment of novelty when fashion lent them its fragile grace.
~ Marcel Proust - [Paradox]

 

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The regularity of a habit is generally in proportion to its absurdity.
~ Marcel Proust - [Habit]

 

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There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.
~ Marcel Proust - [Childhood]

 

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