She realized for the first time that two people can never reach each others deepest feelings and instincts, that they spend their lives side by side, linked it may be, but not mingled, and that each one's inmost being must go through life eternally alone.
You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know.
Solitude is indeed dangerous for a working intelligence. We need to have around us people who think and speak. When we are alone for a long time we people the void with phantoms
Abstinence is the worst form of perversion.
Life is a slope. As long as you're going up you're always looking towards the top and you feel happy, but when you reach it, suddenly you can see the road going downhill and death at the end of it all. It's slow going up and quick going down.
breathing, sleeping, drinking, eating, working, dreaming, everything we do is dying. to live, in fact, is to die.
Great minds that are healthy are never considered geniuses, while this sublime qualification is lavished on brains that are often inferior but are slightly touched by madness.
Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched.
History, that excitable and unreliable old lady.
Whether we are describing a king, an assassin, a thief, an honest man, a prostitute, a nun, a young girl, or a stallholder in a market, it is always ourselves that we are describing.
Of all the passions, the only one that seems respectable to me is the passion for food
Every government has as much of a duty to avoid war as a ship's captain has to avoid a shipwreck.
The past attracts me, the present frightens me, because the future is death.
I love the night passionately... I love it with all my senses: I love to see it, I love to breathe it in, I love to open my ears to its silence, I love my whole body to be caressed by its blackness...
We live always under the weight of the old and odious customs... of our barbarous ancestors.
It is the lives we encounter that make life worth living.
Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no longer exist.
A sick thought can devour the body's flesh more than fever or consumption.
You have the army of mediocrities followed by the multitude of fools. As the mediocrities and the fools always form the immense majority, it is impossible for them to elect an intelligent government.
The essence of life is the smile of round female bottoms, under the shadow of cosmic boredom.
Whatever you want to say, there is only one word to express it, only one verb to give it movement, only one adjective to qualify it.
The bed comprehends our whole life, for we were born in it, we live in it, and we shall die in it
The only certainty is death.
You must render: never report.
The great artists are those who impose their personal vision upon humanity.
We breathe love as we breathe air; we hold it in ourselves as we hold our thoughts. Nothing more exists for us.
There is only one good thing in life, and that is love.
In the East men know panic, but they do not know what fright is.
If I could, I would stop the passage of time. But hour follows on hour, minute on minute, each second robbing me of a morsel of myself for the nothing of tomorrow. I shall never experience this moment again.
Love is always love, come whence it may. A heart that beats at your approach, an eye that weeps when you go away are things so rare, so sweet, so precious that they must never be despised.
I know nothing more enjoyable than that happy-go-lucky wandering life, in which you are perfectly free; without shackles of any kind, without care, without preoccupation, without thought even of to-morrow. You go in any direction you please, without any guide save your fancy.
It is better to be unhappy in love than unhappy in marriage, but some people manage to be both.
A lawful kiss is never worth as much as a stolen one.
Since governments take the right of death over their people, it is not astonishing if the people should sometimes take the right of death over governments.
Everything is false, everything is possible, everything is doubtful.
We are accustomed to use our eyes only with the memory of what other people before us have thought about the object we are looking at.
I entered literary life as a meteor, and I shall leave it like a thunderbolt.
Travel, like dreams, is a door that opens from the real world into a world that is yet to be discovered
Night was a very different matter. It was dense, thicker than the very walls, and it was empty, so black, so immense that within it you could brush against appalling things and feel roaming and prowling around a strange, mysterious horror.
There are in France some fifty thousand young men of good birth and fairly well off who are encouraged to live a life of complete idleness. They must either cease to exist or must come to see that there can be no happiness, no health even, without regular daily labor of some sort ... The need of work is in me.