When one tears away the veils and shows them naked, people’s souls give off such a pungent smell of decay.
Sheep run to the slaughterhouse, silent and hopeless, but at least sheep never vote for the butcher who kills them or the people who devour them. More beastly than any beast, more sheepish than any sheep, the voter names his own executioner and chooses his own devourer, and for this precious “right” a revolution was fought.
You’re obliged to pretend respect for people and institutions you think absurd. You live attached in a cowardly fashion to moral and social conventions you despise, condemn, and know lack all foundation.
Children, by nature, are keen, passionate and curious. What was referred to as laziness is often merely an awakening of sensitivity, a psychological inability to submit to certain absurd duties, and a natural result of the distorted, unbalanced education given to them. This laziness, which leads to an insuperable reluctance to learn, is, contrary to appearances, sometimes proof of intellectual superiority and a condemnation of the teacher.
The greatest danger of a terrorist’s bomb is in the explosion of stupidity that it provokes.
Desire can attain the darkest human terror and give an actual ideal of hell and its horror.
The universe appears to me like an immense, inexorable torture-garden…Passions, greed, hatred, and lies; social institutions, justice, love, glory, heroism, and religion: these are its monstrous flowers and its hideous instruments of eternal human suffering.
Solitude does not consist in living alone; it consists in living with others, with people who take no interest in you.
While I was an honorable man in her eyes, she did not love me. But the minute she understood what I was, when she breathed the true and foul odor of my soul, love was born in her – for she does love me! Well, well! There is nothing real, then, except evil.
As soon as I find myself in the presence of a rich man, I cannot help looking upon him as an exceptional and beautiful being, as a sort of marvellous divinity, and, in spite of myself, surmounting my will and my reason, I feel rising, from the depths of my being, toward this rich man, who is very often an imbecile, and sometimes a murderer, something like an incense of admiration. Is it not stupid? And why? Why?
Nature’s constantly screaming with all its shapes and scents: love each other! Love each other! Do as the flowers. There’s only love.
To take something from a person and keep it for oneself: that is robbery. To take something from one person and then turn it over to another in exchange for as much money as you can get: that is business. Robbery is so much more stupid, since it is satisfied with a single, frequently dangerous profit; whereas in business it can be doubled without danger.
Wherever he goes, whatever he does, he will always see that word: murder—immortally inscribed upon the pediment of that vast slaughterhouse—humanity.
The poor are the human manure in which grow the harvests of life, the harvests of joy which the rich reap.
Great ladies … are like the best sauces — it is better not to know how they are made.
Why, flowers are violent, cruel, terrible and splendid… like love!
Woman possesses the cosmic force of an element, an invincible force of destruction, like nature’s. She is, in herself alone, all nature! Being the matrix of life, she is by that very fact the matrix of death – since it is from death that life is perpetually reborn, and since to annihilate death would be to kill life at its only fertile source.
Murder is born of love, and love attains the greatest intensity in murder.
Nothing comes at all — never anything. And I cannot accustom myself to that. It is this monotony, this absolute fixity in life, that is the hardest thing for me to endure. I should like to go away from here. Go away? But where and how? I do not know, and I stay.
There is a diabolical streak in me, a troublesome and inexplicable perversity.
While all is new, all is beautiful. That is a well-known song. Yes, and the next day the air changes into another one equally well known.
Come now, don’t make such a funeral face. It isn’t dying that’s sad; it’s living when you’re not happy.