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Muriel Barbery Quotes (68 Quotes)


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  • At times like this you desperately need Art. You seek to reconnect with your spiritual illusions, and you wish fervently that something might rescue you from your biological destiny, so that all poetry and grandeur will not be cast out from the world
    (Muriel Barbery, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog")

  • I may be indigent in name, position, and in appearance, but in my own mind I am an unrivaled goddess -
    (Muriel Barbery, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog")

  • Madame Michel has the elegance of the hedgehog: on the outside she is covered in quills, a real fortress, but my gut feeling is that on the inside, she has the same simple refinement as the hedgehog: a deceptively indolent little creature, fiercely solitary--and terrible elegant.
    (Muriel Barbery, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog")

  • We think we can make honey without sharing in the fate of bees, but we are in truth nothing but poor bees, destined to accomplish our task and then die.
    (Muriel Barbery, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog")

  • A man who farts in bed . . . is a man who loves life.
    (Muriel Barbery, "Gourmet Rhapsody")


  • Beautiful things should belong to beautiful souls.
    (Muriel Barbery, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog")

  • I may know that the world is an ugly place, I still don't want to see it.
    (Muriel Barbery, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog")

  • Maybe that's what being alive is about: so we can track down those movments that are dying.
    (Muriel Barbery, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog")

  • What is an aristocrat? A woman who is never sullied by vulgarity, although she may be surrounded by it.
    (Muriel Barbery, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog")

  • How can one betray oneself to such a degree? What corruption greater even than power can lead us to thus deny the proof of pleasure, to hold in contempt that which we have loved? ...I could have written about chouquettes my whole life long; and my whole life long, I wrote against them.
    (Muriel Barbery, "Gourmet Rhapsody")

  • Because beauty consits of it's own passing, just as we reach for it. It's the ephemeral configuration of things in the moment, when you can see both their movement and their death.
    (Muriel Barbery, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog")

  • I thought: pity the poor in spirit who know neither the enchantment nor the beauty of language.
    (Muriel Barbery, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog")

  • Maybe the greatest anger and frustration come not from unemployment or poverty or the lack of a future but from the feeling that you have no culture, because you've been torn between cultures, between incompatible symbols. How can you exist when you don't know where you are?
    (Muriel Barbery, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog")

  • When someone that you love dies..it's like fireworks suddenly burning out in the sky and everything going black.
    (Muriel Barbery, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog")

  • How ironic! After decades of grub, deluges of wine and alcohol of every sort, after a life spent in butter, cream, rich sauces, and oil in constant, knowingly orchestrated and meticulously cajoled excess, my trustiest right-hand men, Sir Liver and his associate Stomach, are doing marvelously well and it is my heart that is giving out. I am dying of cardiac insufficiency. What a bitter pill to swallow.
    (Muriel Barbery, "Gourmet Rhapsody")


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