To say the word Romanticism is to say modern art—that is, intimacy, spirituality, color, aspiration towards the infinite, expressed by every means available to the arts.
Topics: Romance, Aspirations
For the perfect idler, for the passionate observer it becomes an immense source of enjoyment to establish his dwelling in the throng, in the ebb and flow, the bustle, the fleeting and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel at home anywhere; to see the world, to be at the very center of the world, and yet to be unseen of the world, such are some of the minor pleasures of those independent, intense and impartial spirits, who do not lend themselves easily to linguistic definitions. The observer is a prince enjoying his incognito wherever he goes.
Topics: Tourism, Travel
Every idea is endowed of itself with immortal life, like a human being. All created form, even that which is created by man, is immortal. For form is independent of matter: molecules do not constitute form.
There are moments of existence when time and space are more profound, and the awareness of existence is immensely heightened.
The being who, for most men, is the source of the most lively, and even, be it said, to the shame of philosophical delights, the most lasting joys; the being towards or for whom all their efforts tend for whom and by whom fortunes are made and lost; for whom, but especially by whom, artists and poets compose their most delicate jewels; from whom flow the most enervating pleasures and the most enriching sufferings—woman, in a word, is not, for the artist in general… only the female of the human species. She is rather a divinity, a star.
To be just, that is to say, to justify its existence, criticism should be partial, passionate and political, that is to say, written from an exclusive point of view, but a point of view that opens up the widest horizons.
Topics: Art, Critics, Criticism
Today I felt pass over me
A breath of wind from the wings of madness.
Genius is childhood recalled at will.
We are weighed down, every moment, by the conception and the sensation of Time. And there are but two means of escaping and forgetting this nightmare: pleasure and work. Pleasure consumes us. Work strengthens us. Let us choose.
Topics: Time Management, Time
There is a certain cowardice, a certain weakness, rather, among respectable folk. Only brigands are convinced—of what? That they must succeed. And so they do succeed.
He made no complaint whatsoever about the bad reputation he had attracted throughout the world, assured me that he himself was the person most concerned by the destruction of superstition, and admitted to me that as far as his own power was concerned he had been afraid on only one occasion, which was when he had heard a preacher, more subtle than his colleagues, shout out from the pulpit: ‘Dearly beloved, never forget, when you hear anyone vaunt the progress of enlightenment, that the Devil’s finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist!’
There exist only three beings worthy of respect: the priest, the soldier, the poet. To know, to kill, to create.
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist.
I consider it useless and tedious to represent what exists, because nothing that exists satisfies me. Nature is ugly, and I prefer the monsters of my fancy to what is positively trivial.
For the merchant, even honesty is a financial speculation.
As a remedy against all ills; poverty, sickness, and melancholy only one thing is absolutely necessary; a liking for work.
If a certain assemblage of trees, of mountains, of waters, and of houses that we call a landscape is beautiful, it is not because of itself, but through me, through my own indulgence, through the thought or the sentiment that I attach to it
Alas, human vices, however horrible one might imagine them to be, contain the proof (were it only in their infinite expansion) of man’s longing for the infinite; but it is a longing that often takes the wrong route. It is my belief that the reason behind all culpable excesses lies in this depravation of the sense of the infinite.
Topics: Virtue, Vice
Genius is no more than childhood recaptured at will, childhood equipped now with man’s physical means to express itself, and with the analytical mind that enables it to bring order into the sum of experience, involuntarily amassed.
If photography is allowed to stand in for art in some of its functions it will soon supplant or corrupt it completely thanks to the natural support it will find in the stupidity of the multitude. It must return to its real task, which is to be the servant of the sciences and the arts, but the very humble servant, like printing and shorthand which have neither created nor supplanted literature.
Who among us has not, in moments of ambition, dreamt of the miracle of a form of poetic prose, musical but without rhythm and rhyme, both supple and staccato enough to adapt itself to the lyrical movements of our souls, the undulating movements of our reveries, and the convulsive movements of our consciences? This obsessive ideal springs above all from frequent contact with enormous cities, from the junction of their innumerable connections.
Topics: Poets, Poetry
We all have the republican spirit in our veins, like syphilis in our bones. We are democratized and venerealized.
Both ardent lovers and austere scholars, when once they come to the years of discretion, love cats, so strong and gentle, the pride of the household, who like them are sensitive to the cold, and sedentary.
I love Wagner, but the music I prefer is that of a cat hung up by its tail outside a window and trying to stick to the panes of glass with its claws.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Arthur Rimbaud French Poet
- Remy de Gourmont French Poet, Writer
- Guillaume Apollinaire Italian-born French Poet
- Jean Cocteau French Poet, Artist
- Victor Hugo French Novelist
- Jean-Paul Sartre French Philosopher
- Octave Mirbeau French Author
- Alphonse de Lamartine French Poet, Politician, Historian
- Jean de La Fontaine French Poet
- Voltaire French Philosopher, Author