Ah cher ami, how poor in invention men are! They are They always think one commits suicide for a reason. But it's quite possible to commit suicide for two reasons. No, that never occurs to them. So what's the good of dying intentionally, of sacrificing yourself to the idea you want people to have of you? Once you are dead, they will take advantage of it to attribute idiotic or vulgar motives to your action. Martyrs, cher ami, must choose between being forgotten, mocked, or made use of. As for being understood--never!
A single sentence will suffice for modern man. He fornicated and read the papers. After that vigorous definition, the subject will be, if I may say so, exhausted.
Believe me, for certain men at least, not taking what one doesn't desire is the hardest thing in the world.
But the heart has its own memory and I have forgotten nothing.
But too many people now climb onto the cross merely to be seen from a greater distance, even if they have to trample somewhat on the one who has been there so long.
Don't lies eventually lead to the truth? And don't all my stories, true or false, tend toward the same conclusion? Don't they all have the same meaning? So what does it matter whether they are true or false if, in both cases, they are significant of what I have been and what I am? Sometimes it is easier to see clearly into the liar than into the man who tells the truth. Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
Empires and churches are born under the sun of death.
Friendship is less simple. It is long and hard to obtain but when one has it there's no getting rid of it; one simply has to cope with it. Don't think for a minute that your friends will telephone you every evening, as they ought to, in order to find out if this doesn't happen to be the evening when you are deciding to commit suicide, or simply whether you don't need company, whether you are not in the mood to go out. No, don't worry, they'll ring up the evening you are not alone, when life is beautiful. As for suicide, they would be more likely to push you to it, by virtue of what you owe to yourself, according to them. May heaven protect us, cher Monsieur, from being set upon a pedestal by our friends!
God is not needed to create guilt or to punish. Our fellow men suffice, aided by ourselves. You were speaking of the Last Judgement. Allow me to laugh respectfully. I shall wait for it resolutely, for I have known what is worse, the judgement of men. For them, no extenuating circumstances; even the good intention is ascribed to crime. Have you at least heard of the spitting cell, which a nation recently thought up to prove itself the greatest on earth? A walled-up box in which the prisoner can stand without moving. The solid door that locks him in the cement shell stops at chin level. Hence only his face is visible, and every passing jailer spits copiously on it. The prisoner, wedged into his cell, cannot wipe his face, though he is allowed, it is true. to close his eyes. Well, that, mon cher, is a human invention. They didn't need God for that little masterpiece.
He had been bored, that's all, bored like most people. Hence he had made himself out of whole cloth a life full of complications and drama. Something must happen - and that explains most human commitments. Something must happen, even loveless slavery, even war or death. Hurray then for funerals!
How could sincerity be a condition of friendship? A liking for the truth at all costs is a passion that spares nothing and that nothing can withstand.
I felt as though I was partly unlearning what i had never learned and yet knew so well: I mean, how to live.
I have a very old and very faithful attachment for dogs. I like them because they always forgive.
I have to admit it humbly, mon cher compatriote, I was always bursting with vanity. I, I, I is the refrain of my whole life, which could be heard in everything I said. I could never talk without boasting, especially if I did so with that shattering discretion that was my specialty. It is quite true that I always lived free and powerful. I simply felt released in the regard to all the for the excellent reason that I recognized no equals. I always considered myself more intelligent than everyone else, as Ive told you, but also more sensitive and more skillful, a crack shot, an incomparable driver, a better lover. Even in the fields in which it was easy for me to verify my inferioritylike tennis, for instance, in which I was but a passable partnerit was hard for me not to think that, with a little time and practice, I would surpass the best players. I admitted only superiorities in me and this explained my good will and serenity. When I was concerned with others, I was so out of pure condescension, in utter freedom, and all the credit went to me: my self-esteem would go up a degree.
I like people who dream or talk to themselves interminably; I like them, for they are double. They are here and elsewhere.
I love life - thats my real weakness. I love it so much that I am incapable of imagining what is not life.
I used to advertise my loyalty and I don't believe there is a single person I loved that I didn't eventually betray.
Men are never convinced of your reasons, of your sincerity, of the seriousness of your sufferings, except by your death. So long as you are alive, your case is doubtful; you have a right only to their skepticism.
Of course, true love is exceptional - two or three times a century, more or less. The rest of the time there is vanity or boredom.
One plays at being immortal and after a few weeks one doesn't even know whether or not one can hang on till the next day.
People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.
The truth is that every intelligent man, as you know, dreams of being a gangster and of ruling over society by force alone. As it is not so easy as the detective novels might lead one to believe, one generally relies on politics and joins the cruelest party.What does it matter, after all, if by humiliating one's mind one succeeds in dominating every one? I discovered in myself sweet dreams of oppression.
Thus I progressed on the surface of life, in the realm of words as it were, never in reality. All those books barely read, those friends barely loved, those cities barely visited, those women barely possessed! I went through the gestures out of boredom or absent-mindedness. Then came human beings; they wanted to cling, but there was nothing to cling to, and that was unfortunate--for them. As for me, I forgot. I never remembered anything but myself.
Today we are always as ready to judge as we are to fornicate.
We are all exceptional cases. We all want to appeal against something! Each of us insists on being innocent at all cost, even if he has to accuse the whole human race and heaven itself.
We're going forward, but nothing changes.
When I see a new face, something sets off an alarm bell inside me. 'slow down! Danger!' Even when the attraction is strongest, I am on my guard.
You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question.
Your success and happiness are forgiven you only if you generously consent to share them. But to be happy it is essential not to be too concerned with others. Consequently, there is no escape. Happy and judged, or absolved and wretched.