Marcel Proust Biography, Wiki, Wife, Net Worth, Books, Poems and Quotes

By | April 14, 2021

Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic, and author. He was born on 10 July 1871, in Auteuil, near Paris, France and died on 18 November 1922, in Paris, France. Proust was a homosexual and was one of the first European noveliststo write on the subject of homosexuality. His books abandoned plot and dramatic action in favour of the narrator’s descriptions of his experiences in the world. Marcel Proust, whose novels inspired a whole generation of great writers, is regarded as one of the most acclaimed writers of the modern times. He is considered by critics and writers to be one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. This twentieth century novelist was known to have as much impact on literature, as Tolstoy had during the nineteenth century. His writing was so compelling and impressive that even the great English writer Virgina Woolf once exclaimed “Oh if I could write like that !” Boon during the fourth French Revolution Proust grew up witnessing a lot of turmoil in the society. 

His magnum opus ‘In Search of Lost Time’, which earned him great fame and recognition, describes the society plagued by chaos and absurdities brought about by Industrialization. The beautiful and the awe-inspiring nature, which had been the subject and the muse of poets and writers of the previous ages, began to fade with the beginning of industrialization. But, Proust was among those few people who found inspiration to write, despite all the cynicism. His masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu translated as ‘In Search of Lost Time’ in English – earlier rendered as Remembrance of Things Past, was called the “greatest novel of the 20th century”, published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927. 

Biography –

Name Marcel Proust
Date of birth10 July 1871
Birth placeAuteuil, near Paris, France
Date of death18 November 1922
Place of deathParis, France
Cause of deathHe died of pneumonia and a pulmonary abscess
Age (at the time of death)51 Years
Sun sign Cancer
Famous AsFrench Novelist

Net worth –

Marcel Proust net worth or net income is estimated to be between $1 Million – $5 Million dollars. He has made such an amount of wealth from his primary career as Novelist.

Net worthBetween $1 Million – $5 Million
Source of IncomeNovelist

Early Life and Education –

Marcel was the son of Adrien Proust, an eminent physician of provincial French Catholic descent, and his wife, Jeanne nēe Weil, of a wealthy Jewish family. Proust was a nervous and frail Child. When he was nine years old, his first attack of Asthma (a breathing disorder) nearly killed him. After the incident, his parents were extremely careful about his health and did not allow him to attend school as a regular student initially. In 1882,, he attended the Lycēe Condorcet School but his education was again interrupted due to illness. Nevertheless, he received an award for displaying extraordinary skills in literature in the final year. After a year of military service, Proust studied law and then philosophy (the study of the world and man’s place in it). Proust became known as a brilliant conversationalist with the ability to mimic others, although some consider him a snob and social climber.

Personal Life –

Proust is known to have been homosexual, and his sexuality and relationships with men are often discussed by his biographers. Proust had a close relationship with his mother. He never worked at his job, and he did not move from his parent’s apartment until after both were dead. His life and family circle changed markedly between 1900 and 1905. In February 1903, Proust’s brother, Robert Proust, married and left the family home. His father died in November of the same year. Proust’s beloved mother died in September 1905. The writer was deeply affected by the death of his mother. After the death of his mother, his health began to deteriorate and he spent the last three years of his life in his cork-lined bedroom, sleeping during the day and working at night to complete his novel. He died of pneumonia and a pulmonary abscess in 1922. He was buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.


His famous novel, In Search of Lost Time, is known for its length as well its reputation as one of the greatest works of modernist fiction.

Career –

Proust served in the French army from 1889 to 1890, during which he was stationed at the coligny Barracks in Orléans. From 1890 to 1891, he contributed Columns to the journal ‘Le Mensuel’. He was also one of the founding members of the literary periodical called ‘Le Banquet’ in which he published a number of articles. In 1892 and 1893 Proust wrote criticism, sketches, and short stories for the journal Le Banquet and to La Revue blanche. In 1896, he published his first book titled, ‘Les Plaisirs et les Jours’, which comprised a collection of essays, short stories and poems. Proust tried to write a novel but did not succeed and began translating and interpreting the works of the English art of Titian, John Ruskin. 

The year 1908 proved beneficial for him as he began writing satires on the works by other writers, all of which were published in the daily newspaper ‘Le Figaro’. These writings rendered him the confidence to expand the horizon of his works. Thus, he began writing essays, articles and short stories, eventually merging and developing them into a single novel. By November 1908, Proust was planning his Contre Sainte-Beuve (Published in 1954; On Art and Literature). He finished it during the summer of 1909 and immediately started work on his great novel À la recherche du temps perdu and the first part of the novel was published in 1913 and In 1919, the second part of the novel was published. Proust published the last three volumes during the last three years of his life. The final volumes of his novel appeared under the direction of his brother Robert. In À la recherche du temps perdu Proust was mainly concerned with describing not real life but his narrator Marvel’s view of it. Proust began his novel in 1909 and worked on it until his death. 

Marcel Proust Books

  • In Search of Lost Time (À la recherche du temps perdu published in seven volumes, previously translated as Remembrance of Things Past) (1913–1927)
  • Swann’s Way (Du côté de chez Swann, sometimes translated as The Way by Swann’s) (1913)
  • In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, also translated as Within a Budding Grove) (1919)
  • The Guermantes Way (Le Côté de Guermantes originally published in two volumes) (1920/1921)
  • Sodom and Gomorrah (Sodome et Gomorrhe originally published in two volumes, sometimes translated as Cities of the Plain) (1921/1922)
  • The Prisoner (La Prisonnière, also translated as The Captive) (1923)
  • The Fugitive (Albertine disparue, also titled La Fugitive, sometimes translated as The Sweet Cheat Gone or Albertine Gone) (1925)
  • Time Regained (Le Temps retrouvé, also translated as Finding Time Again and The Past Recaptured) (1927)
  • Jean Santeuil (unfinished novel in 3 volumes published posthumously – 1952)

Short story collections

Early Stories (short stories published posthumously)
Pleasures and Days (Les plaisirs et les jours; illustrations by Madeleine Lemaire, preface by Anatole France, and four piano works by Reynaldo Hahn) (1896)


Pastiches, or The Lemoine Affair (Pastiches et mélanges – a collection) (1919)
Against Sainte-Beuve (Contre Sainte-Beuve: suivi de Nouveaux mélanges) (published posthumously 1954)

Translations of John Ruskin

La Bible d’Amiens (translation of The Bible of Amiens) (1896)
Sésame et les lys: des trésors des rois, des jardins des reines (translation of Sesame and Lilies) (1906)

Marcel Proust Inspirational & Motivational Quotes

  • Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have retained of them. – Marcel Proust
  • A powerful idea communicates some of its strength to him who challenges it. – Marcel Proust
  • The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust
  • Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees. – Marcel Proust
  • Like many intellectuals, he was incapable of saying a simple thing in a simple way. – Marcel Proust
  • Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind. – Marcel Proust
  • As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost and science can never regress. – Marcel Proust
  • Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. – Marcel Proust
  • Love is space and time measured by the heart. – Marcel Proust
  • Habit is a second nature which prevents us from knowing the first, of which it has neither the cruelties nor the enchantments. – Marcel Proust
  • Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible. – Marcel Proust
  • It is in moments of illness that we are compelled to recognize that we live not alone but chained to a creature of a different kingdom, whole worlds apart, who has no knowledge of us and by whom it is impossible to make ourselves understood: our body. – Marcel Proust
  • Words do not change their meanings so drastically in the course of centuries as, in our minds, names do in the course of a year or two. – Marcel Proust
  • We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us. – Marcel Proust
  • Illness is the doctor to whom we pay most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promise only; pain we obey. – Marcel Proust
  • Let us leave pretty women to men devoid of imagination. – Marcel Proust
  • Everything great in the world comes from neurotics. They alone have founded our religions and composed our masterpieces. – Marcel Proust
  • A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves. – Marcel Proust
  • We are healed from suffering only by experiencing it to the full. – Marcel Proust
  • We are able to find everything in our memory, which is like a dispensary or chemical laboratory in which chance steers our hand sometimes to a soothing drug and sometimes to a dangerous poison. – Marcel Proust
  • Three-quarters of the sicknesses of intelligent people come from their intelligence. They need at least a doctor who can understand this sickness. – Marcel Proust

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