Quotes from Proust XVIII: Man is the creature who cannot escape from himself, who knows other people only in himself

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.

The inertia of the mind urges it to slide down the easy slope of imagination, rather than to climb the steep slope of introspection.

Let an illness, a duel, a runaway horse make us see death face to face, and how richly we should have enjoyed the life of pleasure, the travels in unknown lands, which are about to be snatched from us! And no sooner is the danger past than we resume once more the same dull life in which none of those delights existed for us.

It did not occur to me that the death of oneself is neither impossible nor extraordinary; it is effected without our knowledge, even against our will, every day of our lives.

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