The sight of so many ruins destroys any desire to build shanties; all this ancient dust makes one indifferent to fame.

Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: French

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Axiom : hatred of the bourgeois is the beginning of wisdom. But I include in the word bourgeois , the bourgeois in blouses as well the bourgeois in coats. It is we and we alone , that is to say the literary men , who are the people, or to say it better : the tradition of humanity.

How wonderful to find in living creatures the same substance as those which make up minerals. Nevertheless they felt a sort of humiliation at the idea that their persons contained phosphorous like matches, albumen like white of egg, hydrogen gas like street lamps.

She put him near the front door and a number of visitors were surprised that he would not answer to the name 'Polly', which is what all parrots were supposed to be called.

He dreamed of funeral love, but dreams crumble and the tomb abides.

I am the obscure and patient pearl-fisherman who dives into the deepest waters and comes up with empty hands and a blue face.

And he was beginning to feel that discouragement which is engendered by a life of repetition, when no interest guides nor expectation sustains it.

You must write for yourself, above all.

So he gave up his flute, exalted sentiments, and poetry; for every bourgeois in the flush of his youth, were it but for a day, a moment, has believed himself capable of immense passions, of lofty enterprises. The most mediocre libertine has dreamed of sultanas; every notary bears within him the debris of a poet.

Rich or poor, victors or vanquished, I make no allowance for any of them. I don't want love or hate, pity or anger. Sympathy is another matter. There is never enough of that.

For this was how they would have wished to be, each setting up an ideal to which they were now adapting their past life. Besides, speech is a rolling-mill that always thins out the sentiment.

She loved the sea only for the sake of its storms, and the green fields only when broken up by ruins.

Future joys are like tropical shores; like a fragrant breeze, they extend their innate softness to the immense inland world of past experience, and we are lulled by this intoxication into forgetting the unseen horizons beyond.

The more ideas they had the more they suffered.

And since, human speech is like a cracked tin kettle, on which we hammer out tunes to make bears dance when we long to move the stars.