Marcel Proust

“Whatever one may say, writing a novel is a very different thing from living one. All the same our lives are not wholly separated from our works. All the scenes that I have narrated here, I have lived through. How then can they be of less value in real life than in a book? The answer to that question is that while I was living them, I was doing so consciously, deliberately: I saw them as productive of pleasure or fear, of vanity or of malice. Their true, their inner essence escaped me. It would have escaped me just the same, no matter how hard I stared at them.”

Marcel Proust, Jean Santeuil
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Jean Santeuil Jean Santeuil by Marcel Proust
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