Remembrance: Marcel Proust #31

Remembrance: Marcel Proust

Moments from
“Remembrance of Things Past”

Marcel-Proust

““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

Marcel_Proust_(Père_Lachaise) side by side hotel - grave

Remembrance: Marcel Proust #30

Remembrance: Marcel Proust

Moments from
“Remembrance of Things Past”

Marcel-Proust

“But genius, and even great talent,
springs less from seeds of intellect
and social refinement superior to those of other people
than from the faculty of transforming and transposing them.
To heat a liquid with an electric lamp
requires not the strongest lamp possible,
but one of which the current can cease to illuminate,
can be diverted so as to give heat instead of light.
To mount the skies it is not necessary
to have the most powerful of motors,
one must have a motor which,
instead of continuing to run
along the earth’s surface,
intersecting with a vertical line
the horizontal line which it began by following,
is capable of converting its speed into lifting power.
Similarly, the men who produce works of genius
are not those who live in the most delicate atmosphere,
whose conversation is the most brilliant
or their culture the most extensive,
but those who have had the power,
ceasing suddenly to live only for themselves,
to transform their personality into a sort of mirror,
in such a way that their life,
however mediocre it may be socially
and even, in a sense, intellectually,
is reflected by it,
genius consisting in reflecting power
and not in the intrinsic quality of the scene reflected.”

― Marcel Proust, Within a Budding Grove, Part 2

Marcel_Proust_(Père_Lachaise) side by side hotel - grave

Remembrance: Marcel Proust #29

Remembrance: Marcel Proust

Moments from
“Remembrance of Things Past”

Marcel-Proust

“Perhaps it is not-being
that is the true state,
and all our dream of life
is inexistent;
but, if so,
we feel that
these phrases of music,
these conceptions
which exist
in relation
to our dream,
must be nothing either.
We shall perish,
but we have as hostages
these divine captives
who will follow
and share our fate.
And death
in their company
is somehow less bitter,
less inglorious,
perhaps even less probable.”

― Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way

Marcel_Proust_(Père_Lachaise) side by side hotel - grave

Remembrance: Marcel Proust #28

Remembrance: Marcel Proust

Moments from
“Remembrance of Things Past”

Marcel-Proust

“The bonds between ourselves
and another person
exists only in our minds.
Memory as it grows fainter
loosens them,
and notwithstanding
the illusion by which
we want to be duped
and which, out of love,
friendship, politeness,
deference, duty,
we dupe other people,
we exist alone.
Man is the creature
who cannot escape
from himself,
who knows other people
only in himself,
and when he asserts
the contrary,
he is lying.”

― Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time

Marcel_Proust_(Père_Lachaise) side by side hotel - grave

Why Emotional Excess is Essential to Writing and Creativity

anais-nin photo

Why Emotional Excess is Essential to Writing and Creativity
– Anäis Nin

“Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.”

I like to live always at the beginnings of life, not at their end. We all lose some of our faith under the oppression of mad leaders, insane history, pathologic cruelties of daily life. I am by nature always beginning and believing and so I find your company more fruitful than that of, say, Edmund Wilson, who asserts his opinions, beliefs, and knowledge as the ultimate verity. Older people fall into rigid patterns. Curiosity, risk, exploration are forgotten by them. You have not yet discovered that you have a lot to give, and that the more you give the more riches you will find in yourself. It amazed me that you felt that each time you write a story you gave away one of your dreams and you felt the poorer for it. But then you have not thought that this dream is planted in others, others begin to live it too, it is shared, it is the beginning of friendship and love.

[…]

You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. If it seems to you that I move in a world of certitudes, you, par contre, must benefit from the great privilege of youth, which is that you move in a world of mysteries. But both must be ruled by faith.

Remembrance: Marcel Proust #27

Remembrance: Marcel Proust

Moments from
“Remembrance of Things Past”

Marcel-Proust

“I was left alone there
in the company of the orchids,
roses and violets, which,
like people waiting beside you
who do not know you,
preserved a silence
which their individuality
as living things
made all the more striking,
and warmed themselves
in the heat
of a glowing coal fire…”

― Marcel Proust, Within a Budding Grove

Marcel_Proust_(Père_Lachaise) side by side hotel - grave

Remembrance: Marcel Proust #24

Remembrance: Marcel Proust
“Remembrance of Things Past”

Marcel-Proust

“Forgetting that beauty
and happiness
are only ever incarnated
in an individual person,
we replace them in our minds
by a conventional pattern,
a sort of average of all
the different faces we have
ever admired,
all the different pleasures
we have ever enjoyed,
and thus carry about with us
abstract images,
which are lifeless
and uninspiring
because they lack
the very quality
that something new,
something different
from what is familiar,
always possesses,
and which is the quality
inseparable from real beauty
and happiness.

So we make
our pessimistic
pronouncements
on life,
which we think are valid,
in the belief
that we have
taken account of beauty
and happiness,
whereas we have
actually omitted them
from consideration,
substituting for them
synthetic compounds
that contain
nothing of them.”
― Marcel Proust

Marcel_Proust_(Père_Lachaise) side by side hotel - grave