Quotes By A Happy Death

“When I look at my life and its secret colours, I feel like bursting into tears.”


“Believe me there is no such thing as great suffering, great regret, great memory....everything is forgotten, even a great love. That's what's sad about life, and also what's wonderful about it. There is only a way of looking at things, a way that comes to you every once in a while. That's why it's good to have had love in your life after all, to have had an unhappy passion- it gives you an alibi for the vague despairs we all suffer from.”


“But sometimes it takes more courage to live than to shoot yourself.”


“He discovered the cruel paradox by which we always decieve ourselves twice about the people we love-first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage”


“People don't love each other at our age, Marthe—they please each other, that's all. Later on, when you're old and impotent, you can love someone. At our age, you just think you do. That's all it is.”


“You have so much inside you, and the noblest happiness of all. Don’t just wait for a man to come along. That’s the mistake so many women make. Find your happiness in yourself.”


“To think the way you do, you have to be a man who lives either on a tremendous despair, or on a tremendous hope.

On both perhaps.”


“He knew now that it was his own will to happiness which must make the next move. But if he was to do so, he realized that he must come to terms with time, that to have time was at once the most magnificent and the most dangerous of experiments. Idleness is fatal only to the mediocre.”


“On good days, if you trust life, life has to answer you.”


“He realized now that to be afraid of this death he was staring at with animal terror meant to be afraid of life. Fear of dying justified a limitless attachment to what is alive in man. And all those who had not made the gestures necessary to live their lives, all those who feared and exalted impotence— they were afraid of death because of the sanction it gave to a life in which they had not been involved. They had not lived enough, never having lived at all. And death was a kind of gesture, forever withholding water from the traveler vainly seeking to slake his thirst. But for the others, it was the fatal and tender gesture that erases and denies, smiling at gratitude as at rebellion.”


“When I look at my life and its secret colors, I feel like bursting into tears. Like that sky. It's rain and sun both, noon and midnight. ... I think of the lips I've kissed, and of the wretched child I was, and of the madness of life and the ambition that sometimes carries me away. I'm all those things at once. I'm sure there are times when you wouldn't even recognize me. Extreme in misery, excessive in happiness—I can't say it.”


“You know, a man always judges himself by the balance he can strike between the needs of his body and the demands of his mind. You're judging yourself now, Mersaut, and you don't like the sentence.”


“Independence is earned by a few words of cheap confidence”


“You make the mistake of thinking you have to choose, that you have to do what you want, that there are conditions for happiness. What matters- all that matters, really- is the will to happiness, a kind of enormous, ever present consciousness. The rest- women, art, success- is nothing but excuses. A canvas waiting for our embroideries.”


“In the past, the poverty they shared had a certain sweetness about it. When the end of the day came and they would eat their dinner in silence with the oil lamp between them, there was a secret joy in such simplicity, such retrenchment.”


“...he was conscious of the disastrous fact that love and desire must be expressed in the same way...”


“Yes, I'm happy, in human terms.”


“There's the risk of being loved...and that would keep me from being happy.”


“What did it matter if he existed for two or for twenty years? Happiness was the fact that he had existed.”


“Crois-moi, il n'y a pas de grande douleur, pas de grands repentirs, de grands souvenirs. Tout s'oublie même les grandes amours. C'est ce qu'il y a de triste et d'exaltant à la fois dans la vie. Il y a seulement une certaine façon de voir les choses et elle surgit de temps en temps. C'est pour ça qu'il est bon quand même d'avoir eu un grand amour, une passion malheureuse dans sa vie. Ça fait du moins un alibi pour les désespoirs sans raison dont nous sommes accablés.”


“Just as there is a moment when the artist must stop, when the sculpture must be left as it is, the painting untouched - just as a determination not to know serves the maker more than all the resources of clairvoyance - so there must be a minimum of ignorance in order to perfect a life in happiness. Those who lack such a thing must set about acquiring it: unintelligence must be earned.”


“Come here, image.”


“Healthy people have a natural skill of avoiding feverish eyes.”


“And with pain and joy, their hearts learned to hear that double lesson which leads to a happy death.”


“There is something divine in mindless beauty.”


“It takes time to live. Like any work of art, life needs to be thought about.”


“Beyond the curve of his days he glimpsed neither superhuman happiness nor eternity--happiness was human, eternity ordinary.”


“You see, Mersualt, all the misery and cruelty of our civilisation can be measured by this one stupid axiom: happy nations have no history.”


“Yes, I know what passion would fill me with all its power. Before, I was too young. I got in the way. Now I know that acting and loving and suffering is living, of course, but it’s only living insofar as you can be transparent and accept your fate, like the unique reflection of a rainbow of joys and passions which is the same for everyone.”