The more humanity advances, the more it is degraded.
– Gustave Flaubert
The faster the word sticks to the thought, the more beautiful is the effect.
What an elder sees sitting; the young can’t see standing.
It seems to me that I have always existed and that I possess memories that date back to the Pharaohs.
Poetry is as precise a thing as geometry.
The artist must be in his work as God is in creation, invisible and all-powerful; one must sense him everywhere but never see him.
One can be the master of what one does, but never of what one feels.
The author, in his work, must be like God in the Universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere.
A superhuman will is needed in order to write, and I am only a man.
Anything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough.
The only way to avoid being unhappy is to close yourself up in Art and to count for nothing all the rest.
Exuberance is better than taste.
One mustn’t look at the abyss, because there is at the bottom an inexpressible charm which attracts us.
Madame Bovary is myself.
The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletarian to the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeois.
Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times.
Here is true immorality: ignorance and stupidity; the devil is nothing but this. His name is Legion.
You can calculate the worth of a man by the number of his enemies, and the importance of a work of art by the harm that is spoken of it.
Language is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.
The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
Stupidity is something unshakable; nothing attacks it without breaking itself against it; it is of the nature of granite, hard and resistant.
To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.
One must always hope when one is desperate, and doubt when one hopes.
Everything one invents is true, you may be perfectly sure of that. Poetry is as precise as geometry.
There are neither good nor bad subjects. From the point of view of pure Art, you could almost establish it as an axiom that the subject is irrelevant, style itself being an absolute manner of seeing things.
Read much, but not many books.
Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.
Reality does not conform to the ideal, but confirms it.
I hate that which we have decided to call realism, even though I have been made one of its high priests.
Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises we have failed in.