Notebooks, 1935-1951

Am I happy or unhappy? It’s not a very important question.

But above all, in order to be, never try to seem.

...if the actor gave his performance without knowing that he was in a play, then his tears would be real tears and his life a real life. And whenever I think of this pain and joy that rise up in me, I am carried away by the knowledge that the game I am playing is the most serious and exciting there is.

If those whom we begin to love could know us as we were before meeting them … they could perceive what they have made of us.

Întotdeauna prefer?m nu omul, ci ideea pe care ne-o facem despre el

I spent a long time looking at faces, drinking in smiles. Am I happy or unhappy? It’s not a very important question. I live with such frenzied intensity.

Things and people are waiting for me, and doubtless I am waiting for them and desiring them with all my strength and sadness. But, here, I earn the right to be alive by silence and by secrecy.

The miracle of not having to talk about oneself.

It is not humiliating to be unhappy. Physical suffering is sometimes humiliating, but the suffering of being cannot be, it is life.

It is terrifying to see how easily, in certain people, all dignity collapses. Yet when you think about it, this is quite normal since they only maintain this dignity by constantly striving against their own nature.

Living with one’s passions amounts to living with one’s sufferings, which are the counterpoise, the corrective, the balance and the price. When a man has learned — and not on paper — how to remain alone with his suffering, how to overcome his longing to flee, the illusions that others may share, then he has little left to learn.

Neste momento há lugares longínquos onde o mar é rosa na hora do crepúsculo.

Nors kart? pamat?s,kaip nušvinta laime mylimo žmogaus veidas,suvoki,kad žmogui n?ra kito pašaukimo,kaip tik ?žiebti t? švies? j? supan?i?j? mintis,kad vien tuo,jog gyveni,atneši nelaim? ir nakt? ? sutikt?j? širdis,darosi nebepakeliama

People can think only in images. If you want to be a philosopher, write novels.

Smiling despair. No solution, but constantly exercising an authority over myself that I know is useless. The essential thing is not to lose oneself, and not to lose that part of oneself that lies sleeping in the world.

Start by looking for what is valid in every human being.

The first thing to do is to keep silent – to abolish audiences and learn to be your own judge. To keep a balance between active concern for the body and an attentive awareness of being alive. To abandon all claims and devote yourself to achieving two kinds of freedom: freedom from money, and freedom from your own vanity and cowardice. To have rules and stick to them. Two years is not too long to spend thinking about one single point. You must wipe out all earlier stages, and concentrate all your strength on forgetting nothing and learning patiently.

The peculiar vanity of man, who wants to believe and who wants other people to believe that he is seeking after truth, when in fact it is love that he is asking the world to give him.

The true artist stands midway between what he imagines and what he does. He is the one who is 'capable of.' he could be what he describes, experience what he writes. The mere act would limit him; he would be the one who has acted.

Those who prefer their principles over their happiness, they refuse to be happy outside the conditions they seem to have attached to their happiness.

Three years to make a book, five lines to ridicule it, and the quotations wrong.

What am I doing here, what is the point of these smiles and gestures? My home is neither here nor elsewhere. And the world has become merely unknown landscape where my heart can lean on nothing. Foreign - who can know what this word means?

What gives value to travel is fear. It is the fact that, at a certain moment, when we are so far from our own country … we are seized by a vague fear, and an instinctive desire to go back to the protection of old habits … this is why we should not say that we travel for pleasure. There is no pleasure in traveling, and I look upon it more as an occasion for spiritual testing … Pleasure takes us away from ourselves in the same way as distraction, in Pascal’s use of the word, takes us away from God. Travel, which is like a greater and a graver science, brings us back to ourselves.

When I look at my life and at the secret color which it has, I feel as if tears were trembling in my heart. I am just as much the lips that I have kissed as the nights spent in the 'House before the World,' just as much the child brought up in poverty as this frenzied ambition and thirst for life which sometimes carry me away.

You will never be able to experience everything. So, please, do poetical justice to your soul and simply experience yourself.