Quotes By Laughable Loves

“Yes, it's a well-known fact about you: you're like death, you take everything.”


“Jealousy isn't a pleasant quality, but if it isn't overdone (and if it's combined with modesty), apart from its inconvenience there's even something touching about it.”


“تصوّر أنك صادفت مجنونًا وادّعى أمامك أنّه سمكة، وأننا جميعًا سمك. أتراك تجادله؟ أتراك تتعرى أمامه لتقنعه بأنك لا تملك زعانف؟ أتراك تقول له صراحة ما تفكر فيه؟ هيّا قل لي!
لو أنك قلت له الحقيقة فحسب، واقتصرت على إخباره برأيك الحقيقي فيه، فمعنى هذا أنك توافق على الخوض في نقاش جاد مع مجنون، وأنّك أنت نفسك مجنون كذلك. ينطبق هذا بالضبط على العالم الذي يحيط بنا. فإذا أصررت على أن تقول له الحقيقة بصراحة، فهذا معناه أنّك تأخذهُ على محمل الجد. وأخذُ شئ غير جاد على محمل الجدّ معناه أننا نفقد كل جدّيتنا. فأنا مضطر للكذب لكي لا آخذ مجانين على محمل الجدّ وكي لا أصاب أنا أيضًا بالجنون.”


“Why in fact should one tell the truth? What obliges us to do it? And why do we consider telling the truth to be a virtue? Imagine that you meet a madman, who claims that he is a fish and that we are all fish. Are you going to argue with him? Are you going to undress in front of him and show him that you don't have fins? Are you going to say to his face what you think?...If you told him the whole truth and nothing but the truth, only what you thought, you would enter into a serious conversation with a madman and you yourself would become mad. And it is the same way with the world that surrounds us. If I obstinately told the truth to its face, it would mean that I was taking it seriously. And to take seriously something so unserious means to lose all one's own seriousness. I have to lie, if I don't want to take madmen seriously and become a madman myself.”


“آه أيها السادة والسيدات، كم هو حزين أن يعيش المرء وهو غير قادر على أن يأخذ أي شيء أو أيّ شخص على محمل الجد !”


“Ah, ladies and gentlemen, a man lives a sad life when he cannot take anything or anyone seriously.”


“This was exactly what the girl had most dreaded all her life and had scrupulously avoided until now: lovemaking without emotion or love. She knew that she had crossed the forbidden boundary, but she proceeded across it without objections and as a full participant; only somewhere, far off in a corner of her consciousness, did she feel horror at the thought that she had never known such pleasure, never so much pleasure as at this moment--beyond that boundary.”


“He looked at her and tried to discover behind her lascivious expression the familiar features that he loved tenderly. It was as if he were looking at two images through the same lens, at two images superimposed one on the other with one showing through the other. These two images showing through each other were telling him that everything was in the girl, that her soul was terrifyingly amorphous, that it held faithfulness and unfaithfulness, treachery and innocence, flirtatiousness and chastity. This disorderly jumble seemed disgusting to him, like the variety to be found in a pile of garbage. Both images continued to show through each other, and the young man understood that the girl differed only on the surface from other women, but deep down was the same as they: full of all possible thoughts, feelings, and vices, which justified all his secret misgivings and fits of jealousy. The impression that certain outlines delineated her as an individual was only a delusion to which the other person, the one who was looking, was subject--namely himself. It seemed to him that the girl he loved was a creation of his desire, his thoughts, and his faith and that the real girl now standing in front of him was hopelessly other, hopelessly alien, hopelessly ambiguous. He hated her.”


“Tell me, where in life is there a value that would make us consider suicide uncalled for on principle! Love? Or friendship? I guarantee that friendship is not a bit less fickle than love and it is impossible to build anything on it. Self-love? I wish it were possible.”


“نجتاز الحاضر بعيون معصوبة، وأقصى ما نستطيعه هو أن نستشعر ونخمّن ما نعيشه. ونحن لا ندرك ما عشناه ونفهم معناه إلا لاحقاً، عندما تزول العصابة عن أعيننا، ونعيد تفحّص الماضي .”


“It was futile to attack with reason the stout wall of irrational feelings that, as is known, is the stuff of which the female mind is made.”


“But what had happened, had happened, and it was no longer possible to right anything.”


“I know, brother, that you are a straightforward man, and that you pride yourself on it. But put one question to yourself: why in fact should one tell the truth? What obliges us to do it? And why do we consider telling the truth a virtue? Imagine that you meet a madman, who claims that he is a fish and that we are all fish. Are you going to argue with him? Are you going to undress in front of him and show him that you don't have fins? Are you going to say to his face what you think? Well, tell me!'

His brother was silent and Edward went on: 'If you told him the whole truth and nothing but the truth, only what you really thought, you would enter into a serious conversation with a madman and you yourself would become mad. And it is the same way with the world that surrounds us. If I obstinately told a man the truth to his face, it would mean I was taking him seriously. And to take something so unimportant seriously means to become less than serious oneself. I, you see, must lie, if I don't want to take madmen seriously and become one of them myself.”


“Only after a while did it occur to me (in spite of the chilly silence which surrounded me) that my story was not of the tragic sort, but rather of the comic variety.

At any rate that afforded me some comfort.”


“She was aware that in love even the most passionate idealism will not rid the body's surface of its terrible, basic importance.”


“There are moments in life when a man retreats defensively, when he must give ground, when he must surrender less important positions in order to protect the more important ones. But should it come to the very last, the most important one, at this point a man must halt and stand firm if he doesn't want to begin life all over again with idle hands and a feeling of being shipwrecked.”


“The man raised his glass, 'To you!'

Can't you think of a wittier toast?'

Something was beginning to irritate him about the girl's game. Now sitting face to face with her, he realized it wasn't just the words which were turning her into a stranger, but that her whole persona had changed, the movements of her body and her facial expression, and that she unpalatably and faithfully resembled that type of woman whom he knew so well and for whom he felt some aversion.

And so (holding his glass in his raised hand), he corrected his toast: 'O.K., then I won't drink to you, but to your kind, in which are combined so successfully the better qualities of the animal and the worse aspects of the human being.”


“So she stood naked in front of the young man and at this moment stopped playing the game.”


“The young man called the waiter and paid. Then he got up and said to the girl: 'We're going.'

Where to?' The girl feigned surprise.

Don't ask, just come on,' said the young man.

Is that any way to talk to me?'

It's the way I talk to whores.”


“I have to lie, if I don't want to take madmen seriously and become a madman myself”


“Those boobs of yours are ubiquitous - like God!”


“Because I'm happy that you exist at all, Elisabeth. Perhaps I love you. Perhaps I love you very much. But probably just for this reason it would be better if we remain as we are. I think a man and a woman love each other all the more when they don't live together and when they know about each other only that they exist, and when they are grateful to each other for the fact that they exist and that they know they exist. And that alone is enough for their happiness.”


“Facts mean little compared to attitudes. To contradict rumor or sentiment is as futile as arguing against a believer's faith in the Immaculate Conception. You have simply become a victim of faith, Comrade Assistant.”


“It was a curious game. This curiousness was evidenced, for example, in the fact that the young man, even though he himself was playing the unknown driver remarkably well, did not for a moment stop seeing his girl in the hitchhiker. And it was precisely this that was tormenting. He saw his girl seducing a strange man, and had the bitter privilege of being present, of seeing at close quarters how she looked and of hearing what she said when she was cheating on him (when she had cheated on him, when she would cheat on him). He had the paradoxical honor of being himself the pretext for her unfaithfulness.

This was all the worse because he worshipped rather than loved her. It had always seemed to him that her inward nature was real only within the bounds of fidelity and purity, and that beyond these bounds she would cease to be herself, as water ceases to be water beyond the boiling point.”


“As she uttered the words of the prayer, she glanced up at him as if he were God Himself. He watched her with growing pleasure. In front of him was kneeling the directress, being humiliated by a subordinate; in front of him a naked revolutionary was being humiliated by prayer; in front of him a praying lady was being humiliated by her nakedness.

This threefold image of degradation intoxicated him and something unexpected suddenly happened: his body revoked its passive resistance. Edward was excited!

As the directress said, 'And lead us not into temptation,' he quickly threw off all his clothes. When she said, 'Amen,' he violently lifted her off the floor and dragged her onto the couch.”