She loved the sea for its storms alone, cared for vegetation only when it grew here and there among ruins. She had to extract a kind of personal advantage from things and she rejected as useless everything that promised no immediate gratification "" for her temperament was more sentimental than artistic, and what she was looking for was emotions, not scenery.
loved quotessea quotesstorms quotescared quotesvegetation quotesgrew quotesruins quotesextract quoteskind quotespersonal quotesadvantage quotesthings quotesrejected quotesuseless quotespromised quotesgratification quotestemperament quotessentimental quotesartistic quotesemotions quotesscenery quotes
Since you are now studying geometry and trigonometry, I will give you a problem. A ship sails the ocean. It left Boston with a cargo of wool. It grosses 200 tons. It is bound for Le Havre. The mainmast is broken, the cabin boy is on deck, there are 12 passengers aboard, the wind is blowing East-North-East, the clock points to a quarter past three in the afternoon. It is the month of May. How old is the captain?
studying quotesgeometry quotestrigonometry quotesgive quotesproblem quotesship quotessails quotesocean quotesleft quotesboston quotescargo quoteswool quotesgrosses quotes200 quotestons quotesbound quotesle quoteshavre quotesmainmast quotesbroken quotescabin quotesboy quotesdeck quotes12 quotespassengers quotesaboard quoteswind quotesblowing quoteseastnortheast quotesclock quotespoints quotesquarter quotespast quotesafternoon quotesmonth quotescaptain quotes
There was an air of indifference about them, a calm produced by the gratification of every passion; and through their manners were suave, one could sense beneath them that special brutality which comes from the habit of breaking down half-hearted resistances that keep one fit and tickle one's vanity""the handling of blooded horses, the pursuit of loose women.
air quotesindifference quotescalm quotesproduced quotesgratification quotespassion quotesmanners quotessuave quotessense quotesbeneath quotesspecial quotesbrutality quoteshabit quotesbreaking quoteshalfhearted quotesresistances quotesfit quotestickle quotesones quotesvanitythe quoteshandling quotesblooded quoteshorses quotespursuit quotesloose quoteswomen quotes
[T]he truth is that fullness of soul can sometimes overflow in utter vapidity of language, for none of us can ever express the exact measure of his needs or his thoughts or his sorrows; and human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.
truth quotesfullness quotessoul quotesoverflow quotesutter quotesvapidity quoteslanguage quotesexpress quotesexact quotesmeasure quotesthoughts quotessorrows quoteshuman quotesspeech quotescracked quoteskettle quotestap quotescrude quotesrhythms quotesbears quotesdance quoteslong quotesmake quotesmusic quotesmelt quotesstars quotes
I believe in the Supreme Being, in a Creator, whatever he may be. I care little who has placed us here below to fulfil our duties as citizens and fathers of families; but I don't need to go to church to kiss silver plates, and fatten, out of my pocket, a lot of good-for-nothings who live better than we do. For one can know him as well in a wood, in a field, or even contemplating the eternal vault like the ancients. My God! mine is the God of Socrates, of Franklin, of Voltaire, and of Beranger! I am for the profession of faith of the 'Savoyard Vicar, ' and the immortal principles of '89! And I can't admit of an old boy of a God who takes walks in his garden with a cane in his hand, who lodges his friends in the belly of whales, dies uttering a cry, and rises again at the end of three days; things absurd in themselves, and completely opposed, moreover, to all physical laws, which proves to us, by the way, that priests have always wallowed in turpid ignorance, in which they would fain engulf the people with them.
supreme quotescreator quotescare quotesfulfil quotesduties quotescitizens quotesfathers quotesfamilies quoteschurch quoteskiss quotessilver quotesplates quotesfatten quotespocket quoteslot quotesgoodfornothings quoteslive quoteswood quotesfield quotescontemplating quoteseternal quotesvault quotesancients quotesgod quotesmine quotesgod quotessocrates quotesfranklin quotesvoltaire quotesberanger quotesprofession quotesfaith quotessavoyard quotesvicar quotes quotesimmortal quotesprinciples quotes89 quotesadmit quotesboy quotestakes quoteswalks quotesgarden quotescane quoteshand quoteslodges quotesfriends quotesbelly quoteswhales quotesdies quotesuttering quotescry quotesrises quotesend quotesdays quotesthings quotesabsurd quotescompletely quotesopposed quotesphysical quoteslaws quotesproves quotespriests quoteswallowed quotesturpid quotesignorance quotesfain quotesengulf quotespeople quotes
In the end idealism annoyed Bouvard. 'I don't want any more of it: the famous cogito is a bore. The ideas of things are taken for the things themselves. What we barely understand is explained by means of words that we do not understand at all! Substance, extension, force, matter and soul, are all so many abstractions, figments of the imagination. As for God, it is impossible to know how he is, or even if he is! Once he was the cause of wind, thunder, revolutions. Now he is getting smaller. Besides, I don't see what use he is.
end quotesidealism quotesannoyed quotesbouvard quotesi quotesfamous quotescogito quotesbore quotesideas quotesthings quotesbarely quotesunderstand quotesexplained quotesmeans quoteswords quotessubstance quotesextension quotesforce quotesmatter quotessoul quotesabstractions quotesfigments quotesimagination quotesgod quotesimpossible quoteswind quotesthunder quotesrevolutions quotessmaller quotes
He loved the extensive vaults where you could hear the night birds and the sea breeze; he loved the craggy ruins bound together by ivy, those dark halls, and any appearance of death and destruction. Having fallen so far from so high a position, he loved anything that had also fallen from a great height
For two nights Felicite never left the dead girl. She said the same prayers over and over again, sprinkled holy water on the sheets, then sat down again to watch. At the end of her first vigil, she noticed that the child's face had gone yellow, the lips were turning blue, the nose looked sharper, and the eyes were sunken. She kissed them several times, and would not have been particularly surprised if Virginie had opened them again: to minds like hers the supernatural is a simple matter. She laid her out, wrapped her in a shroud, put her in her coffin, placed a wreath on her, and spread out her hair. It was fair and amazingly long for her age. Felicite cut off a big lock, half of which she slipped into her bosom, resolving never to part with it.
nights quotesfelicite quotesleft quotesdead quotesgirl quotesprayers quotessprinkled quotesholy quoteswater quotessheets quotessat quoteswatch quotesend quotesvigil quotesnoticed quoteschilds quotesface quotesyellow quoteslips quotesturning quotesblue quotesnose quoteslooked quotessharper quoteseyes quotessunken quoteskissed quotestimes quotessurprised quotesvirginie quotesopened quotesminds quotessupernatural quotessimple quotesmatter quoteslaid quoteswrapped quotesshroud quotesput quotescoffin quoteswreath quotesspread quoteshair quotesfair quotesamazingly quoteslong quotesage quotescut quotesbig quoteslock quoteshalf quotesslipped quotesbosom quotesresolving quotespart quotes
I am alone on this road strewn with bones and bordered by ruins! Angels have their brothers, and demons have their infernal companions. Yet I have but the sound of my scythe when it harvests, my whistling arrows, my galloping horse. Always the sound of the same wave eating away at the world
As you get older, the heart shed its leaves like a tree. You cannot hold out against certain winds. Each day tears away a few more leaves; and then there are the storms that break off several branches at one go. And while nature's greenery grows back again in the spring, that of the heart never grows back.
Deep down, all the while, she was waiting for something to happen. Like a sailor in distress, she kept casting desperate glances over the solitary waster of her life, seeking some white sail in the distant mists of the horizon. She had no idea by what wind it would reach her, toward what shore it would bear her, or what kind of craft it would be - tiny boat or towering vessel, laden with heartbreaks or filled to the gunwhales with rapture. But every morning when she awoke she hoped that today would be the day; she listened for every sound, gave sudden starts, was surprised when nothing happened; and then, sadder with each succeeding sunset, she longed for tomorrow.
deep quoteswaiting quoteshappen quotessailor quotesdistress quotescasting quotesdesperate quotesglances quotessolitary quoteswaster quoteslife quotesseeking quoteswhite quotessail quotesdistant quotesmists quoteshorizon quotesidea quoteswind quotesreach quotesshore quotesbear quoteskind quotescraft quotestiny quotesboat quotestowering quotesvessel quotesladen quotesheartbreaks quotesfilled quotesgunwhales quotesrapture quotesmorning quotesawoke quoteshoped quotestoday quotesday quoteslistened quotessound quotesgave quotessudden quotesstarts quotessurprised quoteshappened quotessadder quotessucceeding quotessunset quoteslonged quotestomorrow quotes
As humanity perfects itself, man becomes degraded. When everything is reduced to the mere counter-balancing of economic interests, what room will there be for virtue? When Nature has been so subjugated that she has lost all her original forms, where will that leave the plastic arts? And so on. In the mean time, things are going to get very murky.
From time to time, I open a newspaper. Things seem to be proceeding at a dizzying rate. We are dancing not on the edge of a volcano, but on the wooden seat of a latrine, and it seems to me more than a touch rotten. Soon society will go plummeting down and drown in nineteen centuries of shit. There'll be quite a lot of shouting. (1850)
time quotestime quotesopen quotesnewspaper quotesthings quotesproceeding quotesdizzying quotesrate quotesdancing quotesedge quotesvolcano quoteswooden quotesseat quoteslatrine quotestouch quotesrotten quotessociety quotesplummeting quotesdrown quotesnineteen quotescenturies quotesshit quotestherell quoteslot quotesshouting quotes1850 quotes
Everyone rushes wherever his instincts impel him, the populace swarms like insects over a corpse, poets pass by without having the time to sculpt their thoughts, hardly have they scribbled their ideas down on sheets of paper than the sheets are blown away; everything glitters and everything resounds in this masquerade, beneath its ephemeral royalties and its cardboard scepters, gold flows, wine cascades, cold debauchery lifts her skirts and jigs around... horror! horror! and then there hangs over it all a veil that each one grabs part of to hide himself the best he can. Derision! Horror - horror!
rushes quotesinstincts quotesimpel quotespopulace quotesswarms quotesinsects quotescorpse quotespoets quotespass quotestime quotessculpt quotesthoughts quotesscribbled quotesideas quotessheets quotespaper quotesblown quotesglitters quotesresounds quotesmasquerade quotesbeneath quotesephemeral quotesroyalties quotescardboard quotesscepters quotesgold quotesflows quoteswine quotescascades quotescold quotesdebauchery quoteslifts quotesskirts quotesjigs quoteshorror quoteshangs quotesveil quotesgrabs quotespart quoteshide quotesderision quoteshorror quotes
I'm no more modern than ancient, no more French than Chinese, and the idea of a native country, that is to say, the imperative to live on one bit of ground marked red or blue on the map and to hate the other bits in green or black, has always seemed to me narrow-minded, blinkered and profoundly stupid. I am a soul brother to everything that lives, to the giraffe and to the crocodile as much as to man.
modern quotesancient quotesfrench quoteschinese quotesidea quotesnative quotescountry quotesimperative quoteslive quotesbit quotesground quotesmarked quotesred quotesblue quotesmap quoteshate quotesbits quotesgreen quotesblack quotesnarrowminded quotesblinkered quotesprofoundly quotesstupid quotessoul quotesbrother quoteslives quotesgiraffe quotescrocodile quotesman quotes
I will cover you with love when next I see you, with caresses, with ecstasy. I want to gorge you with all the joys of the flesh, so that you faint and die. I want you to be amazed by me, and to confess to yourself that you had never even dreamed of such transports... When you are old, I want you to recall those few hours, I want your dry bones to quiver with joy when you think of them.
We think of women at every age: while still children, we fondle with a naive sensuality the breasts of those grown-up girls kissing us and cuddling us in their arms; at the age of ten, we dream of love; at fifteen, love comes along; at sixty, it is still with us, and if dead men in their tombs have any thought in their heads, it is how to make their way underground to the nearby grave, lift the shroud of the dear departed women, and mingle with her in her sleep
women quotesage quoteschildren quotesfondle quotesnaive quotessensuality quotesbreasts quotesgrownup quotesgirls quoteskissing quotescuddling quotesarms quotesage quotesten quotesdream quoteslove quotesfifteen quoteslove quotessixty quotesdead quotesmen quotestombs quotesthought quotesheads quotesmake quotesunderground quotesnearby quotesgrave quoteslift quotesshroud quotesdear quotesdeparted quoteswomen quotesmingle quotessleep quotes
An overwhelming curiosity makes me ask myself what their lives might be like. I want to know what they do, where they're from, their names, what they're thinking about at that moment, what they regret, what they hope for, their past loves, their current dreams... and if they happen to be women (especially the young ones) then the urge becomes intense. How quickly would you want to see her naked, admit it, and naked through to her heart. How you try to learn where she comes from, where she's going, why she's here and not elsewhere! While letting your eyes wander all over her, you imagine love affairs for her, you ascribe her deep feelings. You think of the bedroom she must have, and a thousand things besides... right down to the battered slippers into which she must slip her feet when she gets out of bed.
overwhelming quotescuriosity quotesmakes quoteslives quotesnames quotesthinking quotesmoment quotesregret quoteshope quotespast quotesloves quotescurrent quotesdreams quoteshappen quoteswomen quotesyoung quotesurge quotesintense quotesquickly quotesnaked quotesadmit quotesnaked quotesheart quoteslearn quotesshes quotesletting quoteseyes quoteswander quotesimagine quoteslove quotesaffairs quotesascribe quotesdeep quotesfeelings quotesbedroom quotesthousand quotesthings quotesbattered quotesslippers quotesslip quotesfeet quotesbed quotes
You forget everything. The hours slip by. You travel in your chair through centuries you seem seem to see before you, your thoughts are caught up in the story, dallying with the details or following the course of the plot, you enter into characters, so that it seems as if it were your own heart beating beneath their costumes.
What better occupation, really, than to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright... Haven't you ever happened to come across in a book some vague notion that you've had, some obscure idea that returns from afar and that seems to express completely your most subtle feelings?
occupation quotesspend quotesevening quotesfireside quotesbook quoteswind quotesbeating quoteswindows quoteslamp quotesburning quotesbright quoteshappened quotesbook quotesvague quotesnotion quotesobscure quotesidea quotesreturns quotesafar quotesexpress quotescompletely quotessubtle quotesfeelings quotes
Without moving, you walk through lands you imagine you can see, and your thoughts, weaving in and out of the story, delight in the details or follow the outlines of the adventures. You merge with the character; you think you're the one whose heart is beating so hard within the clothes he's wearing.
One thinks of nothing, ' he continued; 'the hours slip by. Motionless we traverse countries we fancy we see, and your thought, blinding with the fiction, playing with the details, follows the outline of the adventures. It mingles with the characters, and it seems as if it were yourself palpitating beneath their costumes.
thinks quotes quotescontinued quotesthe quoteshours quotesslip quotesmotionless quotestraverse quotescountries quotesfancy quotesthought quotesblinding quotesfiction quotesplaying quotesdetails quotesoutline quotesadventures quotesmingles quotescharacters quotespalpitating quotesbeneath quotescostumes quotes
He seriously thought that there is less harm in killing a man than producing a child: in the first case you are relieving someone of life, not his whole life but a half or a quarter or a hundredth part of that existence that is going to finish, that would finish without you; but as for the second, he would say, are you not responsible to him for all the tears he will shed, from the cradle to the grave? Without you he would never have been born, and why is he born? For your amusement, not for his, that's for sure; to carry your name, the name of a fool, I'll be bound - you may as well write that name on some wall; why do you need a man to bear the burden of three or four letters?
thought quotesharm quoteskilling quotesman quotesproducing quoteschild quotescase quotesrelieving quoteslife quoteslife quoteshalf quotesquarter quoteshundredth quotespart quotesexistence quotesfinish quotesfinish quotesresponsible quotestears quotesshed quotescradle quotesgrave quotesborn quotesborn quotesamusement quotescarry quotesfool quotesbound quoteswrite quoteswall quotesbear quotesburden quotesletters quotes
Then they wondered if there were men in the stars. Why not? And as creation is harmonious, the inhabitants of Sirius ought to be huge, those of Mars middle-sized, those of Venus very small. Unless it is the same everywhere. There are businessmen, police up there; people trade, fight, dethrone their kings. Some shooting stars suddenly slid past, describing a course in the sky like the parabola of a monstrous rocket. 'My Word,' said Bouvard, 'look at those worlds disappearing.' Pecuchet replied: 'If our world in its turn danced about, the citizens of the stars would be no more impressed than we are now. Ideas like that are rather humbling.' 'What is the point of it all?' 'Perhaps there isn't a point.' 'Yet... ' and Pecuchet repeated the word two or three times, without finding anything more to say.
wondered quotesmen quotesstars quotescreation quotesharmonious quotesinhabitants quotessirius quoteshuge quotesmars quotesmiddlesized quotesvenus quotessmall quotesbusinessmen quotespolice quotespeople quotestrade quotesfight quotesdethrone quoteskings quotesshooting quotesstars quotessuddenly quotesslid quotespast quotesdescribing quotessky quotesparabola quotesmonstrous quotesrocket quotesmy quotesword quotesbouvard quoteslook quotesworlds quotesdisappearing quotespecuchet quotesreplied quotesif quotesworld quotesturn quotesdanced quotescitizens quotesimpressed quotesideas quoteshumbling quoteswhat quotespoint quotesall quotesperhaps quotespoint quotesyet quotes quotesrepeated quotesword quotestimes quotesfinding quotes