Effort is only effort when it begins to hurt.

Youth does not require reasons for living, it only needs pretexts.

We live at a time when man believes himself fabulously capable of creation, but he does not know what to create.

We have need of history in its entirety, not to fall back into it, but to see if we can escape from it.

We do not live to think, but, on the contrary, we think in order that we may succeed in surviving.

We distinguish the excellent man from the common man by saying that the former is the one who makes great demands on himself, and the latter who makes no demands on himself.

We cannot put off living until we are ready.

Under the species of Syndicalism and Fascism there appears for the first time in Europe a type of man who does not want to give reasons or to be right, but simply shows himself resolved to impose his opinions.

To rule is not so much a question of the heavy hand as the firm seat.

To live is to feel oneself lost.

To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand.

There may be as much nobility in being last as in being first, because the two positions are equally necessary in the world, the one to complement the other.

There is but one way left to save a classic; to give up revering him and use him for our own salvation.

The world is the sum-total of our vital possibilities.

The poet begins where the man ends. The man's lot is to live his human life, the poet's to invent what is nonexistent.

The metaphor is perhaps one of man's most fruitful potentialities. Its efficacy verges on magic, and it seems a tool for creation which God forgot inside one of His creatures when He made him.

The good is, like nature, an immense landscape in which man advances through centuries of exploration.

The essence of man is, discontent, divine discontent; a sort of love without a beloved, the ache we feel in a member we no longer have.

The difficulties which I meet with in order to realize my existence are precisely what awaken and mobilize my activities, my capacities.

The characteristic of the hour is that the commonplace mind, knowing itself to be commonplace, has the assurance to proclaim the rights of the commonplace and to impose them wherever it will.

Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.

Rancor is an outpouring of a feeling of inferiority.

Poetry is adolescence fermented, and thus preserved.

Order is not pressure which is imposed on society from without but an equilibrium which is set up from within.

Love is that splendid triggering of human vitality the supreme activity which nature affords anyone for going out of himself toward someone else.

Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do.

Life is an operation which is done in a forward direction. One lives toward the future, because to live consists inexorably in doing, in each individual life making itself.

Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be.

Law is born from despair of human nature.

In order to master the unruly torrent of life the learned man meditates, the poet quivers, and the political hero erects the fortress of his will.

I am I plus my circumstances.

Hatred is a feeling which leads to the extinction of values.

For the person for whom small things do not exist, the great is not great.

Excellence means when a man or woman asks of himself more than others do.

Biography - a system in which the contradictions of a human life are unified.

Better beware of notions like genius and inspiration; they are a sort of magic wand and should be used sparingly by anybody who wants to see things clearly.

Being an artist means ceasing to take seriously that very serious person we are when we are not an artist.

Barbarism is the absence of standards to which appeal can be made.

An 'unemployed' existence is a worse negation of life than death itself.

An idea is a putting truth in check-mate.

Abasement, degradation is simply the manner of life of the man who has refused to be what it is his duty to be.

A revolution only lasts fifteen years, a period which coincides with the effectiveness of a generation.