Often it is just lack of imagination that keeps a man from suffering very much.
Love is space and time measured by the heart.
Our memory is like a shop in the window of which is exposed now one, now another photograph of the same person. And as a rule the most recent exhibit remains for some time the only one to be seen.
The mistakes made by doctors are innumerable. They err habitually on the side of optimism as to treatment, of pessimism as to the outcome.
It is often hard to bear the tears that we ourselves have caused.
The features of our face are hardly more than gestures which force of habit made permanent. Nature, like the destruction of Pompeii, like the metamorphosis of a nymph into a tree, has arrested us in an accustomed movement.
Topics: Face, Faces
It is desire that engenders belief; if we fail as a rule to take this into account, it is because most of the desires that create beliefs end only with out own life.
We say that the hour of death cannot be forecast, but when we say this we imagine that hour as placed in an obscure and distant future. It never occurs to us that it has any connection with the day already begun or that death could arrive this same afternoon, this afternoon which is so certain and which has every hour filled in advance.
Topics: Death, Dying
There is no man, however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory.
I perceived that to express those impressions, to write that essential book, which is the only true one, a great writer does not, in the current meaning of the word, invent it, but, since it exists already in each one of us, interprets it. The duty and the task of a writer are those of an interpreter.
Topics: Writers, Authors & Writing, Writing
The “sensitiveness” claimed by neurotic is matched by their egotism: they cannot abide the flaunting by others of the sufferings to which they pay an even increasing amount of attention in themselves.
Topics: Mental Illness
The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes, in seeing the universe with the eyes of another, of hundreds of others, in seeing the hundreds of universes that each of them sees.
Topics: Attitude, Age, Discovery, Vision, Perspective
And with the old, intermittent caddishness which reappeared in him when he was no longer unhappy and his moral standards dropped accordingly, he exclaimed to himself: “To think that I’ve wasted years of my life, that I’ve longed to die, that I’ve experienced my greatest love, for a woman who didn’t appeal to me, who wasn’t even my type.
People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad.
It is comforting when one has a sorrow to lie in the warmth of one’s bed and there, abandoning all effort and all resistance, to bury even one’s head under the cover, giving one’s self up to it completely, moaning like branches in the autumn wind. But there is still a better bed, full of divine odors. It is our sweet, our profound, our impenetrable friendship.
People wish to learn to swim and at the same time to keep one foot on the ground.
If only for the sake of elegance, I try to remain morally pure.
A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves.
I understood that all the material of a literary work was in my past life, I understood that I had acquired it in the midst of frivolous amusements, in idleness, in tenderness and in pain, stored up by me without my divining its destination or even its survival, as the seed has in reserve all the ingredients which will nourish the plant.
Let us leave the beautiful women to men with no imagination.
Thanks to art, instead of seeing a single world, our own, we see it multiply until we have before us as many worlds as there are original artists.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Jean Cocteau French Poet, Artist
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- Marquis de Sade French Political leader
- Anatole France French Novelist
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- Victor Hugo French Novelist
- Romain Gary French Diplomat