Genius is the talent of a person who is dead.

A painting in a museum probably hears more foolish remarks than anything else in the world.

Historians tell the story of the past, novelists the story of the present.

The English are crooked as a nation and honest as individuals. The contrary is true of the French, who are honest as a nation and crooked as individuals.

People don't like the true and simple; they like fairy tales and humbug.

Today I begin to understand what love must be, if it exists.... When we are parted, we each feel the lack of the other half of ourselves. We are incomplete like a book in two volumes of which the first has been lost. That is what I imagine love to be: incompleteness in absence.

A poet is a man who puts up a ladder to a star and climbs it while playing a violin.

The newspaper is the natural enemy of the book, as the whore is of the decent woman.

Barbarism is needed every four or five hundred years to bring the world back to life. Otherwise it would die of civilization.

Debauchery is perhaps an act of despair in the face of infinity.

Laughter is the mind's intonation. There are ways of laughing which have the sound of counterfeit coins.

Man is a mind betrayed, not served, by his organs.

As a general truth, it is safe to say that any picture that produces a moral impression is a bad picture.

The reason for the sadness of this modern age and the men who live in it is that it looks for the truth in everything and finds it.

If there is a God, atheism must seem to Him as less of an insult than religion.

That which, perhaps, hears more nonsense than anything in the world, is a picture in a museum.