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“The voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
Marcel Proust (1871 – 1922) was a French writer known for his pseudo-autobiographical novel “Remembrance of Things Past”. It was known for being wonderfully written in a “stream of consciousness” style. He is considered as one of the greatest writer of all time, and the prolific writer W. Somerset Maugham was one of the many fellow writers who were ardent admirers of his novel.
Taken from his novel “Remembrance of Things Past”, the quote above is a precise representation of the theme in his works. Proust was keen on self-discovery and understanding the human nature. It was said that he was deeply interested in Darwin’s books on the theory of evolution. He too was intrigued in the evolution of the universe, especially that of mankind. He expressed his desire in his quote: “The stellar universe is not as difficult of comprehension as the real actions of other people.”
To help understand the quote further and to put it in context, one ought to read the following lines taken from the same novel:
“The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is.”
The same concept on discovery can be found in a quote by Albert Szent Gyorgi: “Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen, and thinking what nobody has thought.”