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Marcel Proust

Quotes about Marcel Proust

25 quotes about Marcel Proust.

Norman MacCaig

I find it's impossible for me to read Proust.

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Anais Nin

If what Proust says is true, that happiness is the absence of fever, then I will never know happiness. For I am possessed by a fever for knowledge, experience, and creation.

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Eugenio Montale

Narrative art, the novel, from Murasaki to Proust, has produced great works of poetry.

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Jane Birkin

My mother was right: When you've got nothing left, all you can do is get into silk underwear and start reading Proust.

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Francoise Sagan

After Proust, there are certain things that simply cannot be done again. He marks off for you the boundaries of your talent.

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In a country like France, so ancient, their history is full of outstanding people, so they carry a heavy weight on their back. Who could write in French after Proust or Flaubert?

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Problems Of A Journalist

“I want to get away somewhere and re-read Proust,”
Said an editor of Fortune to a man on Time.
But the fire roared and died, the phoenix quacked like a goose,
And all roads to the country fray like shawls
Outside the dusk of suburbs. Pacing the halls
Where mile-high windows frame a dream with witnesses,
You taste, fantast and epicure, the names of towns along the coast,
Black roadsters throbbing on the highways blue with rain
Toward one lamp, burning on those sentences.


“I want to get away somewhere and re-read Proust,”
Said an editor of Newsweek to a man on Look.
Dachaus with telephones, Siberias with bonuses.
One reads, as winter settles on the town,
The evening paper, in an Irving Place café.

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The End Of The Library

When the coal
Gave out, we began
Burning the books, one by one;
First the set
Of Bulwer-Lytton
And then the Walter Scott.
They gave a lot of warmth.
Toward the end, in
February, flames
Consumed the Greek
Tragedians and Baudelaire,
Proust, Robert Burton
And the Po-Chu-i. Ice
Thickened on the sills.
More for the sake of the cat,
We said, than for ourselves,
Who huddled, shivering,
Against the stove
All winter long.

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Literary Envy

LITERARY ENVY

Not Shakespeare
Not Tolstoy
Not Kafka Joyce Proust
Not Keats Yeats Wordsworth
Not Hopkins Dickinson
Not Whitman
Not I.B. Singer
Not Hemingway
Not Bellow
Not even Philip Roth
Updike or Salinger.

Not any of the writers
Whose work I love and admire.

Not even the living names now
Who will cease to be
Names In Time.

[...] Read more

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A Man Meets A Woman In The Street

Under the separated leaves of shade
Of the gingko, that old tree
That has existed essentially unchanged
Longer than any other living tree,
I walk behind a woman. Her hair's coarse gold
Is spun from the sunlight that it rides upon.
Women were paid to knit from sweet champagne
Her second skin: it winds and unwinds, winds
Up her long legs, delectable haunches,
As she sways, in sunlight, up the gazing aisle.
The shade of the tree that is called maidenhair,
That is not positively known
To exist in a wild state, spots her fair or almost fair
Hair twisted in a French twist; tall or almost tall,
She walks through the air the rain has washed, a clear thing
Moving easily on its high heels, seeming to men
Miraculous...Since I can call her, as Swann couldn't
A woman who is my type, I follow with the warmth
Of familiarity, of novelty, this new
Example of the type,

[...] Read more

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Lot's Wife

How simple the pleasures of those childhood days,
Simple but filled with exquisite satisfactions.
The iridescent labyrinth of the spider,
Its tethered tensor nest of polygons
Puffed by the breeze to a little bellying sail --
Merely observing this gave infinite pleasure.
The sound of rain. The gentle graphite veil
Of rain that makes of the world a steel engraving,
Full of soft fadings and faint distances.
The self-congratulations of a fly,
Rubbing its hands. The brown bicameral brain
Of a walnut. The smell of wax. The feel
Of sugar to the tongue: a delicious sand.
One understands immediately how Proust
Might cherish all such postage-stamp details.
Who can resist the charms of retrospection?

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Mistakes - 0973 - Initial Version

Mistakes we made are coming home to roost.
Too little energy remains to boost
another act as now the will to see
is absent from the script, and, quoting Proust,
'à la recherche du temps perdu' we flee.

We flee towards an end both known, unknown,
follow a path which our own past has sown,
here straight, there stony, everywhere its key
inscribed in cyphered symbols should be shown
to city_zen in tune with Destiny.

But fear of fear too often dissipates
impressions outlined by the hand that Fate's
swift moving finger writes, for clarity
is blurred by those rejecting truth's debates,
who blind eye turn to visibility
when writing on the wall anticipates
the fall to come, the storm which tumbles dates
from palm oasis in whate'er degree.

[...] Read more

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Nadya Imagines

If she could have got
inside her head, Nadya
thinks, she is sure, her

mind can expand like an
inner universe. The thoughts
moving around like lost

planets, clusters of stars,
images, words, faces, actions
remembered. If she could

just put her hand into a
hidden orifice and reach
into her brain and sort

amongst the galaxies of
ideas she could be brighter,
braver, wiser, and there

[...] Read more

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Book Lover

I keep collecting books I know
I'll never, never read;
My wife and daughter tell me so,
And yet I never head.
"Please make me," says some wistful tome,
"A wee bit of yourself."
And so I take my treasure home,
And tuck it in a shelf.

And now my very shelves complain;
They jam and over-spill.
They say: "Why don't you ease our strain?"
"some day," I say, "I will."
So book by book they plead and sigh;
I pick and dip and scan;
Then put them back, distrest that I
Am such a busy man.

Now, there's my Boswell and my Sterne,
my Gibbon and Defoe;

[...] Read more

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Galleria

Galleria sober with magenta circles
Victor Hugo rings the strange bells
Guillotines of the repressive museum
Dialectic maidens voluptuous and serene
Straight line poets march in protest
Concepts as rigid as steep cathedrals
Definitions become inkwells of rules

Freedom paints with thick brush stokes
Fire shines from apples of her breasts
Her eyes pruned by a purple moon
Blue cisterns like sisters of a brothel
Cézanne wrestles with convention
Verlaine showers vermilion satin sheets
Poe an exorcist of the seriated feathers

Her pink toenails bold as the new jungle
Neruda gathers seashells of sensual nipples
We are the sparks of sapphire wine
She sings of Spanish thighs

[...] Read more

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Liverpool Poems

I

GO TO WORK ON A BRAQUE!

2

Youths disguised as stockbrokers
Sitting on the grass eating the Sacred Mushroom.

3

Liverpool I love your horny­handed tons of soil.

4

PRAYER FROM A PAINTER TO ALL CAPITALISTS:
Open your wallets and repeat after me
`HELP YOURSELF!'

5

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The eyes of impressionism

Saints.
Like swans, gliding untroubled so it seems
to us, lazing on the river bank
of a Seurat summer Sunday afternoon,
gliding over the surface of the waters
as love perhaps, on that first day;
they as floating symbols
of the beauty beyond beauty;
their work, invisible to us who watch

Painters.
Like waterlilies, resting in perfection
on the surface of the waters
as love rests, sure of their own beauty;
painting just the sunlight
falling on things, moving on
more slowly than we see;
the depth of the waters
in the painter’s mind and heart;
his work invisible to us who watch

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Art School Babe

My art school babe with your palette-knives and brushes,
Painted face, Egyptian eye-brows and bright red lips
Pale white make-up, tight black skirts like Juliette Greco
And there's me quoting pretentious chat up lines
From Marcel Proust, Jean Cocteau and Jean-Paul Sartre
Sitting by a gasfire in a drafty bedsit
The art school babe quotes William Blake and she rolls a joint
And I think oh oh, I've scored, start to make myself at home
But the room starts moving as she starts to get me stoned
I close my eyes and give in, the room goes in a spin
My lips are dry, I wander around with a ridiculous grin
I grovel on the floor, I think yeah I think I can make her
Then I wake up and realize I've been kissing the refrigerator
Art school chaps with creative grand illusions
My sketch pad at the ready, my eager charcoal in my hand
Boring the world for hours with political theories
Just to impress anyone who listens while my art school babe
Just puts another inch of make-up on her face
And she says to me:
Arty farty, you'll never fool your auntie

[...] Read more

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She of the Heavenly Happiness

No-one knew what subsequently became of her
after he went so dramatically, and after all those goings-on.
He got all the headlines.
The police didn't even bother
to take her in for questioning.
There was talk of riots,
they needed every spare man.

But the story never quite went away.
You know how it is with journalists -
we file it away for a rainy day,
then it sticks in our mind
for when we retire and write a best-seller, I wish...

I doubt we'll ever know the truth of it;
but every now and then
some nutter with a convincing sighting
makes a free gift to journalists
with no personal responsibility for us either.

[...] Read more

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Twilight In A Tea Cup! ! ! !

When we first met;
Our friends squatted for tea in a newly painted eatery,
Growing weightless with Joyce, Sartre, Pyncheon & Proust,
Mugs &Mughals collided, intellectual dislocation sanitized,
Like on a conveyor belt, revolved on the metaphysical rifts
in the philosophical firmament,
When the hour of the wolf dawned & the howling began,
Illuminating discussion we handed it down like vermiform appendix.
Evening exchanged junk food for soul food amidst the aroma of tea.

Our tea dabbed in colors like a heterodox, reflected twilight in evening mist,
Plotting her teasing gold’s miserly, ethereally hem lined trees
Dallied with darkness, like a damsel in mock protest,
Gold rims of tea cup stalled heuristic breeze
Casting a ruse, scurried in high octave to test.

On tea surface -clouds floated with an orange-tipped smile,
blurring distances in dimensions, devout shadows asserted fidelity;
Cuckoo strains corseted us, stars dropped splashless
throwing their histrionics in purple velvet

[...] Read more

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