Marcel Proust (July10, 1871 – November 18, 1922)
I think that life would suddenly seem wonderful to us if we were threatened to die as you say. Just think of how many projects, travels, love affairs, studies, it — our life — hides from us, made invisible by our laziness which, certain of a future, delays them incessantly. But let all this threaten to become impossible forever, how beautiful it would become again! Ah, if only the cataclysm doesn’t happen this time, we won’t miss visiting the new galleries of the Louvre, throwing ourselves at the feet of Miss X, making a trip to India. The cataclysm doesn’t happen, we don’t do any of it, because we find ourselves back in the heart of normal life, where negligence deadens desire. And yet we shouldn’t have needed the cataclysm to love life today. It would have been enough to think that we are human, and that death may come this evening.