Andre Gide Quotes | Quotes by Andre Gide

1Prejudices are the props of civilization.

2The anxiety we have for the figure we cut, for our personage, is constantly cropping out. We are showing off and are often more concerned with making a display than with living. Whoever feels observed observes himself.

3It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves - in finding themselves.

4I have no use for knowledge that has not been preceded by a sensation

5Let every emotion be capable becoming an intoxication to you. If what you eat fails to make you drunk, it is because you are not hungry enough.

6Sadness is a state of sin.

7Long only for what you have.

8If a young writer can refrain from writing, he shouldn鈥檛 hesitate to do so.

9Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.

10Every perfect action is accompanied by pleasure. By that you can tell what you ought to do.

Andre Gide Quotes

11True intelligence very readily conceives of an intelligence superior to its own; and this is why truly intelligent men are modest.

12To be sure, theory is useful. But without warmth of heart and without love it bruises the very ones it claims to save.

13Christianity, above all, consoles; but there are naturally happy souls who do not need consolation. Consequently Christianity begins by making such souls unhappy, for otherwise it would have no power over them.

14True eloquence forgoes eloquence.

15But can one still make resolutions when one is over forty? I live according to twenty-year-old habits.

16Yet I'm sure there's something more to be read in a man. People dare not -- they dare not turn the page. The laws of mimicry -- I call them the laws of fear. People are afraid to find themselves alone, and don't find themselves at all. I hate this moral agoraphobia -- it's the worst kind of cowardice. You can't create something without being alone. But who's trying to create here? What seems different in yourself: that's the one rare thing you possess, the one thing which gives each of us his worth; and that's just what we try to suppress. We imitate. And we claim to love life.

17The less intelligent the white man is, the more stupid he thinks the black.

18The individual never asserts himself more than when he forgets himself.

19We no longer admit any other truth than that which is expedient; for there is no worse error than the truth that may weaken the arm that is fighting.

20Man is extraordinarily clever in preventing himself from being happy; it would seem that the less able he is to endure misfortune the more apt he is to attach himself to it.

Andre Gide Quotes

21It is good to follow one's own bent, so long as it leads upward.

22One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight, for a very long time, of the shore.

23Other people's appetites easily appear excessive when one doesn't share them.

24When everything belongs to everyone, nobody will take care of anything.

25Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.

26I have never produced anything good except by a long succession of slight efforts.

27The nationalist has a broad hatred and a narrow love.

28Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.

29Believe those who seek the truth, doubt those who find it; doubt all, but do not doubt yourself.

30It is now, and in this world, that we must live.

Andre Gide Quotes

31I find just as much profit in cultivating my hates as my loves.

32The abominable effort to take one鈥檚 sins with one to paradise.

33Faith can move mountains; true: mountains of stupidity.

34Families, I hate you! Shut-in homes, closed doors, jealous possessors of happiness

35The truth is that as soon as we are no longer obliged to earn our living, we no longer know what to do with our life and recklessly squander it.

36A man thinks he owns things, and it is he who is owned

37If the flower were not attached to its stem, it would flee at the approach of man, like the insect or the bird; for the attribute of man on the earth, at least as long as he does not better understand his role, is to worry and frighten what he is not interested in taming for utilitarian purposes. Man is skillful in mistreating everything he can use

38The belief that becomes truth for me... is that which allows me the best use of my strength, the best means of putting my virtues into action.

39Great authors are admirable in this respect: in every generation they make for disagreement. Through them we become aware of our differences.

40Through loyalty to the past, our mind refuses to realize that tomorrow's joy is possible only if today's makes way for it; that each wave owes the beauty of its line only to the withdrawal of the preceding one.

Andre Gide Quotes

41He who wants a rose must respect her thorn.

42By the time a philospher answers a question weve usually forgotten what was asked.

43One should want only one thing and want it constantly. Then one is sure of getting it. But I desire everything, and consequently get nothing.

44What another would have done as well as you, do not do it. What another would have said as well as you, do not say it; what another would have written as well, do not write it. Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself - and thus make yourself indispensable.

45It is not always by plugging away at a difficulty and sticking to it that one overcomes it; often it is by working on the one next to it. Some things and some people have to be approached obliquely, at an angle.

46Actions whose motives he cannot understand that is, actions not prompted by the hope of profit.

47Obtain from yourself all that makes complaining useless. No longer implore from others what you yourself can obtain.

48I am lost if I attempt to take count of chronology. When I think over the past, I am like a person whose eyes cannot properly measure distances and is liable to think things extremely remote which on examination prove to be quite near.

49The loveliest creations of men are persistently painful. What would be the description of happiness? Nothing, except what prepares and then what destroys it.

50Generally among intelligent people are found nothing but paralytics and among men of action nothing but fools.

Andre Gide Quotes

51The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes.

52Woe to these people who have no appetite for the very dish that their age serves up.

53It is easier to lead men to combat, stirring up their passion, than to restrain them and direct them toward the patient labors of peace.

54Great minds tend toward banality. It is the noblest effort of individualism. But it implies a sort of modesty, which is so rare that it is scarcely found except in the greatest, or in beggars.

55Laws and rules of conduct are for the state of childhood; education is an emancipation.

56What eludes logic is the most precious element in us, and one can draw nothing from a syllogism that the mind has not put there in advance.

57The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.

58Man's first and greatest victory must be won against the gods.

59I would like the events never to be told directly by the author, but rather to be introduced (and several times, from various angles) by those among the characters on whom they will have had any effect. I would like those events, in the account they will make of them, to appear slightly distorted; a kind of interest stems, for the reader, from the simple fact that he should need to restore. The story requires his collaboration in order to properly take shape.

60So long as we live among men, let us cherish humanity.