But the world, in its present state, is no place for princesses
So much for the movement of the world! It could have been perfection and it was a disaster. It should be experienced in reality and it is pleasure by proxy, like always.
A man who farts in bed . . . is a man who loves life.
I may know that the world is an ugly place, I still don't want to see it.
What is an aristocrat? A woman who is never sullied by vulgarity, although she may be surrounded by it.
What is writing, no matter how lavish the pieces, if it says nothing of the truth, cares little for the heart, and is merely subservient to the pleasure of showing one's brilliance.
It is always reassuring to be disabused of one's own paranoia.
Civilization is the mastery of violence, the triumph, constantly challenged, over the aggressive nature of the primate. For primates we have been and primates we shall remain, however often we learn to find joy in a camellia on moss. This is the very purpose of education.
The strong ones among humans do nothing. They talk and talk again.
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.
I thought: pity the poor in spirit who know neither the enchantment nor the beauty of language.
When someone that you love dies..it's like fireworks suddenly burning out in the sky and everything going black.
Wine is the refined jewel that only a grown woman will prefer to the sparkling trinkets adored by little girls.
Just by observing the adults around me I understood very early on that life goes by in no time at all, yet they're always in such a hurry, so stressed out by deadlines, so eager for now that they needn't think about tomorrow...But if you dread tomorrow, it's because you don't know how to build the present, and when you don't know how to build the present, you tell yourself you can deal with it tomorrow, and it's a lost cause anyway because tomorrow always ends up becoming today, don't you see?
Do you know that it is in your company that I have had my finest thoughts?
There was only one thing I wanted: to be left alone, without too many demand upon my person, so that for a few moments each day I might be allowed to assuage my hunger.
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.
I understood that I was suffering because I couldn't make anyone else around me feel better.
When something is bothering me, I seek refuge. No need to travel far; a trip to the realm of literary memory will suffice. For where can one find more noble distraction, more entertaining company, more delightful enchantment than in literature?
Language is a bountiful gift and its usage, an elaboration of community and society, is a sacred work. Language and usage evolve over time: elements change, are reborn or forgotten, and while there are instances where transgression can become the source of an even greater wealth, this does not alter the fact that to become entitled to the liberties of playfulness or enlightened misuse of language, one must first and foremost have sworn one's total allegiance.
Don't let the cat out or the concierge in: this is the first principle of socialist ladies.
Thinking back on it, this evening, with my heart and my stomach all jelly, I have finally concluded, maybe that's what life is about: there's a lot of despair, but also the odd moment of beauty, where time is no longer the same. It's as if those strains of music created a sort of interlude in time, something suspended, an elsewhere that had come to us, an always within a never.
I know that they're all unhappy because nobody loves the right person the way they should and because they don't understand that it's really their own self that they're mad at.
I witness the birth on paper of sentences that have eluded my will and appear in spite of me on the sheet, teaching me something that I neither knew nor thought I might want to know. This painless birth, like an unsolicited proof, gives me untold pleasure, and with neither toil nor certainty but the joy of frank astonishment I follw the pen that is guiding and supporting me.
Yes, the world may aspire to vacuousness, lost souls mourn beauty, insignificance surrounds us. Then let us drink a cup of tea. Silence descends, one hears the wind outside, autumn leaves rustle and take flight, the cat sleeps in a warm pool of light. And, with each swallow, time is sublimed.
As far as I can see, only psychoanalysis can compete with Christians in their love of drawn-out suffering.
Levin delights in the forgetfulness that movement brings, where the pleasure of doing is marvellously foreign to the striving of the will.
Don't worry Renee, I won't commit suicide and I won't burn a thing. Because from now on, for you, I'll be searching for those moments of always within never. Beauty, in this world.
This is eminently true of many happy moments in life. Freed from the demands of decision and intention, adrift on some inner sea, we observe our various movements as if they belonged to someone else, and yet we admire their involuntary excellence.
More Muriel Barbery Quotations (Based on Topics)
World - Pleasure - Beauty - Life - Mind - Time - People - Cats - Death & Dying - Facts - Wine - Emotions - Mastery & Expertise - Purposes - Art - Society & Civilization - Writing - Work & Career - Present - View All Muriel Barbery Quotations
More Muriel Barbery Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Gourmet Rhapsody
- The Elegance of the Hedgehog
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