The truth is that as soon as we are no longer obliged to earn our living, we no longer know what to do with our life and recklessly squander it.

I have also tailored my happiness to fit,' I cried out. 'But I have grown, and now my happiness is too tight. Sometimes it almost strangles me...

Poverty makes a slave out of men. In order to eat he will accept work that gives no pleasure.

Man is more interesting than men. God made him and not them in his image. Each one is more precious than all.

There are many things that seem impossible only so long as one does not attempt them.

Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself- and thus make yourself indispensable.

Everyone was good at talking about day-to-day events, but no one ever looked at what motivated them.

Better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

So as long as we live among men, let us cherish humanity.

No theory is good unless it permits, not rest, but the greatest work. No theory is good except on condition that one use it to go on beyond.

After much searching I have found the thing that sets me apart: a sort of stubborn attachment to evil.

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.

It is unthinkable for a Frenchman to arrive at middle age without having syphilis and the Cross of the Legion of Honor.

In order to be utterly happy the only thing necessary is to refrain from comparing this moment with other moments in the past, which I often did not fully enjoy because I was comparing them with other moments of the future.

To tell the truth, my dear count, I must own that of all nauseating human emanations, literature is one of those which disgust me most. I can see nothing in it but compromise and flattery. And I go so far as to doubt whether it can be anything else.

Because it was natural, could he not see that it was marvelous? Poor creature!

I gazed at myself, no longer with shame, but with joy. I felt, if not exactly strong, then at least potentially so, harmonious, sensuous, almost beautiful.

Wild animals passed on their way under the leaves; each track was an arterial road; and when I stooped and looked at the earth close to, I saw, from leaf to leaf and flower to flower, a moving host of insects.

How happy Ménalque is, I thought, since he has nothing! As for me, I am suffering because I want to conserve things. What importance is all this in the end?

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.

The most decisive actions of our life - I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future - are, more often than not, unconsidered.

'Therefore' is a word the poet must not know.

You have to let other people be right' was his answer to their insults. 'It consoles them for not being anything else.

In order to discover new lands, one must be willing to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

I had forgotten I was alone; I sat there, waiting for nothing, oblivious to the time.

The very things that separated me and distinguished me from other people were what mattered; the very things no one else would or could say, these were the things I had to say.

My eyes filled with tears and I wept long and hard, unable, and unwilling, to stop.

Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again.

Everything which formerly distressed me is now a delicious pleasure.

The self requires a story.

Every instant of our lives is essentially irreplaceable: you must know this in order to concentrate on life.

The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes. Essential to remain between the two, close to madness when you dream and close to reason when you write.

People don't want to be like themselves. They all choose a model to imitate, or if they don't choose a model themselves, they accept one ready-made.

And suddenly I was seized with a desire, a craving, something more furious and more imperious than I had ever felt before—to live! I want to live! I will live. I clenched my teeth, my hands, concentrated my whole being in this wild, grief-stricken endeavour towards existence.

Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself, create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings.

Gradation; gradation; and then a sudden leap...

Only those things are beautiful which are inspired by madness and written by reason.

I intend to bring you strength, joy, courage, perspicacity, defiance.

In other people's company I felt I was dull, gloomy, unwelcome, at once bored and boring...

We who would seek new land must be willing to sacrifice the sight of shore for a long, long time.

I hated the homes, the families, all the places where man thinks to find rest.

What was doubly disconcerting for me was that he showed such extraordinary and precocious insight in describing his own feelings that I felt he was making my own confession.

In a world in which everyone cheats, it's the honest man who passes for a charlatan.

The loveliest creations of men are persistently painful. What would be the description of happiness?

Nothing is so silly as the expression of a man who is being complimented.

Sin is whatever obscures the soul.

One can always find hands for a work of destruction.

Those [who] assiduously fabricate for themselves a self-conscious originality, and after having made a choice of certain practices, their principal preoccupation is never to depart from them, to remain for ever on their guard and allow themselves not a moment's relaxation.

The most beaten paths are certainly the surest, but do not hope to start much game on them.