But a dandy can never be a vulgar man.
Common sense tells us that the things of the earth exist only a little, and that true reality is only in dreams.
Whether you come from heaven or hell, what does it matter, O Beauty!
There exist only three beings worthy of respect: the priest, the soldier, the poet. To know, to kill, to create.
An artist is an artist only because of his exquisite sense of beauty, a sense which shows him intoxicating pleasures, but which at the same time implies and contains an equally exquisite sense of all deformities and all disproportion.
To the solemn graves, near a lonely cemetery, my heart like a muffled drum is beating funeral marches.
Nature... is nothing but the inner voice of self-interest.
It is by universal misunderstanding that all agree. For if, by ill luck, people understood each other, they would never agree.
The man who says his evening prayer is a captain posting his sentinels. He can sleep.
Everything that is beautiful and noble is the product of reason and calculation.
The insatiable thirst for everything which lies beyond, and which life reveals, is the most living proof of our immortality.
The unique and supreme voluptuousness of love lies in the certainty of committing evil. And men and women know from birth that in evil is found all sensual delight.
Progress, this great heresy of decay.
I can barely conceive of a type of beauty in which there is no Melancholy.
What is exhilarating in bad taste is the aristocratic pleasure of giving offense.
Modernity is the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, which make up one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immutable. This transitory fugitive element, which is constantly changing, must not be despised or neglected.
Modernity is the transient, the fleeting, the contingent; it is one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immovable.
To handle a language skillfully is to practice a kind of evocative sorcery.
Any newspaper, from the first line to the last, is nothing but a web of horrors, I cannot understand how an innocent hand can touch a newspaper without convulsing in disgust.
Nothing can be done except little by little.
Always be a poet, even in prose.
In literature as in ethics, there is danger, as well as glory, in being subtle. Aristocracy isolates us.
There is no dream of love, however ideal it may be, which does not end up with a fat, greedy baby hanging from the breast.
The world only goes round by misunderstanding.
The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.
Any healthy man can go without food for two days - but not without poetry.
For the merchant, even honesty is a financial speculation.
A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.
Beauty is the sole ambition, the exclusive goal of Taste.
This life is a hospital in which every patient is possessed with a desire to change his bed.
Modernity signifies the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, the half of art of which the other half is the eternal and the immutable.
We are all born marked for evil.
Even if it were proven that God didn't exist, Religion would still be Saintly and Divine.
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.
It is time to get drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of Time, get drunk; get drunk without stopping! On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish.
Nature is a temple in which living columns sometimes emit confused words. Man approaches it through forests of symbols, which observe him with familiar glances.
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.
Inspiration comes of working every day.
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.
Even in the centuries which appear to us to be the most monstrous and foolish, the immortal appetite for beauty has always found satisfaction.