He Was a Misunderstood Homosexual: Marcel Proust's Wise Thoughts on Love and Life

Marcel Proust / Photo: Profimedia

Marcel Proust was a French intellectual, novelist, essayist, critic and one of the representatives of impressionism. He was born in Paris on July 10, 1871, and died on this day in 1922. writes "Style".

His most famous work is "In Search of Lost Time", which consists of seven volumes. The work was published over a period of 14 years and had a great influence on many writers.

He was born into a wealthy medical family. Gentle and sensitive, he suffered from asthma in his childhood, which marked his entire later life.

What also marked his life was his sexual orientation, that is, that he was homosexual. His sexuality and relationships with other men are often described in his biographies, although he never openly acknowledged it.

He even challenged the French poet and novelist Jean Lorien to a duel in 1897, who publicly questioned Proust's relationship with Lucien Daudet. Both survived the duel, and Proust's subsequent romance with the composer Raynald Hahn was well documented.

From his life emerged the themes he dealt with - corrosion of being over time, jealousy and love (heterosexual and homosexual), corporeality and the determination of the psyche by the body, the impermanence of interpersonal relationships and ignorance of reality, the problematic nature of identity and selfishness. , snobbery and political culture and diplomacy in the wake of the First World War.

He spent the last three years of his life in his bedroom – he slept during the day and worked on the novel at night.

He died of inflammation and abscess of the lungs, and left behind some of the most valuable works of classical literature and many wise thoughts and sayings.

"Love is mutual torture."

"Time passes, little by little, and all the lies we've told become true."

"I leave the beauties to those men who have no imagination."

"Time changes people, but it doesn't change the image we have of them."

"Each reader finds himself. The work of the writer is only a kind of optical instrument, which allows the reader to see in himself what he could never do without the book."

"In the school of life, unfortunately, one cannot be lazy."

"Happiness is a blessing to the body, but suffering develops the strength of the mind."

"Our love for others fails not because they are dead, but because we die."

"There is no need for a cataclysm to love life today. It is enough to think that we are nothing more than ordinary human beings and that death can meet us even tonight."

"Just for the sake of elegance, though, I try to stay morally clean."

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