A man is never completely alone in this world. At the worst, he has the company of a boy, a youth, and by and by a grown man—the one he used to be.
Living is like working out a long addition sum, and if you make a mistake in the first two totals you will never find the right answer. It means involving oneself in a complicated chain of circumstances.
Topics: Life and Living
To choose a hardship for ourselves is our only defense against that hardship. This is what is meant by accepting suffering. Those who, by their very nature, can suffer completely, utterly, have an advantage. That is how we can disarm the power of suffering, make it our own creation, our own choice; submit to it. A justification for suicide.
Literature is a defense against the attacks of life. It says to life: “You can’t deceive me. I know your habits, foresee and enjoy watching all your reactions, and steal your secret by involving you in cunning obstructions that halt your normal flow.”
Topics: Books, Literature
One does not kill oneself for love of a woman, but because love—any love—reveals us in our nakedness, our misery, our vulnerability, our nothingness.
Will power is only the tensile strength of one’s own disposition. One cannot increase it by a single ounce.
It is not that the child lives in a world of imagination, but that the child within us survives and starts into life only at rare moments of recollection, which makes us believe, and it is not true, that, as children, we were imaginative?
At great periods you have always felt, deep within you, the temptation to commit suicide. You gave yourself to it, breached your own defenses. You were a child. The idea of suicide was a protest against life; by dying, you would escape this longing for death.
If it were possible to have a life absolutely free from every feeling of sin, what a terrifying vacuum it would be!
This war burns our houses. It sows dead executed in open squares and roads. It chases us like hares from refuge to refuge. It will end up by forcing us to fight, to wring out an active approval. And the day will come when nobody will be outside the war, neither cowards, nor the sad, nor the lonely…
But I saw the unknown dead, dead members of the Italian Social Republic. If a stranger, an enemy becomes such a thing when he dies, if we stop dead fearing to step over him, it means that even the defeated enemy is someone who after spilling blood must be pacified. This blood must be given a voice and those who spilled it must be justified. It is humiliating to look at certain dead. They are not others
The only way to escape the abyss is to look at it, gauge it, sound it out and descend into it.
No one ever lacks a good reason for suicide.
Childhood is not only the childhood we really had but also the impressions we formed of it in our adolescence and maturity. That is why childhood seems so long. Probably every period of life is multiplied by our reflections upon the next.
Reality is a prison, where one vegetates and always will. All the rest—thought, action—is just a pastime, mental or physical. What counts then, is to come to grips with reality. The rest can go.
Love is the cheapest of religions.
Suffering is by no means a privilege, a sign of nobility, a reminder of God. Suffering is a fierce, bestial thing, commonplace, uncalled for, natural as air. It is intangible; no one can grasp it or fight against it; it dwells in time—is the same thing as time; if it comes in fits and starts, that is only so as to leave the sufferer more defenseless during the moments that follow, those long moments when one relives the last bout of torture and waits for the next.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Gerard de Nerval French Poet, Writer
- Guy Debord French Philosopher
- Lucan (Marcus Annaeus Lucanus) Roman Statesman, Poet
- Karl Marx German Philosopher, Economist
- Leon Trotsky Russian Revolutionary
- Friedrich Engels German Socialist Political Philosopher
- Abbie Hoffman American Political Activist
- Arthur Koestler British Writer, Journalist
- Joseph Stalin Soviet Leader
- Sylvia Plath American Poet, Novelist