Jean-Pierre Sergent



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I glean and retrieve quotes, aphorisms and short sentences from artists, writers and philosophers appearing daily on my Twitter Home Page. They are a bit like in Ella Maillart's Snippets of Wisdom, who said in her beautiful book: "Europe is still going in the wrong direction. Our civilization based on money is worthless. It's not money that counts, it's the spirit. Money kills the spirit." These are fragments of thoughts, little fireflies lighting our drifting humanity and warming our hearts, as in that simple phrase uttered by Ichi: "Anyone deprived of warmth ends up freezing to death." Excerpt from the film: Ichi, The Samurai Woman by Fumihiko Sori.

Compte Twitter de l'artiste Jean-Pierre Sergent

"The real function of Art is to change mental patterns... making new thought possible." Jean Dubuffet

"With age, Art and life become one." Georges Braque, Cahiers

November 3, 1954, death of Henri Matisse, French painter leader of Fauvism. His painting is a long journey of obstinate research on color. He said at the end of his life: "Color is a liberation."

"We dream of a language without words, which says the inexpressible and represents the inexpressible." Hermann Hesse, The Steppe Wolf

"The great beauty of my life is that I live what others only dream, discuss, analyze. I want to continue living the uncensored dream, the free unconscious." Anaïs Nin

"The role of the artist will thus be to create an organism with a life of its own drawn from its own, and not intended to surprise, to please or to displease, but to be active enough to excite secret senses."
"The act of painting, an act that demands such obedience that it becomes hypnosis, and that it tears us from our person to the point that time and the world around us no longer exist." Painting Without Being a Painter."
"The dream is the form in which every living creature possesses the right to genius, to its bizarre imaginations, to its magnificent extravagances." Jean Cocteau, Reception speech at the Académie Française, 1955

"Taste is the disgust of the taste of others." Pierre Bourdieu, The distinction, 1979

"I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited." Jorge Luis Borges

"I believe in the moon and the sun, I feel their effect, I believe in the ardor within the earth and its relationship to men." Emil Nolde

"The Iroquois laugh when one speaks to them of submission to a king because submission is incompatible with human dignity. Each man is his own sovereign and has his freedom from the sole creator. He cannot be forced to recognize any other authority." John Long Peltier

"The Hagakure states bluntly that love, as soon as it is confessed, dwindles; true love, the highest and noblest, is that whose secret one carries with him to the grave." Yukio Mishima

"Go back to the origin of lʼart as if painting had never existed.", says painter Barnett Newman, in The Hidden Face of American Art: Art as a Weapon of Cultural Domination

"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." Jorge Luis Borges

"There is in fact no infinity except the sky because of its stars, the sea because of its drops of water, and the heart because of its tears." Gustave Flaubert

"We don't read & write poetry because it's cute. We read & write poetry because we are members of the human race... So medicine, law, business... these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love... these are what we stay alive for." Walt Whitman

"You have to be drunk all the time. In order not to feel the horrible burden of time breaking your shoulders, you must be inebriated without ceasing. With wine, poetry, or virtue, as you please. But get drunk!" Charles Baudelaire, The Spleen of Paris

"That force of joy and life without which an artist is nothing." Albert Camus

"The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery." Françis Bacon

"It is not a question of being happy or satisfied, but to feel the fire inside." Anaïs Nin

"Culture is a resistance to distraction." Pasolini

"They were following him, the Nymphs. And he was leading them. The forest was vibrating. And you, remain in joy, O Dionysus with clusters. Give us to see return, in the joy of seasons, and seasons again, for countless years." Homeric Hymns to Dionysus, Translated by Leconte de Lisle

"Van Gogh once said that death would take us to another star." Le petit soldat, Godard, 1963

"This is perhaps the greatest of all problems. Life as we know it has ended, and no one is yet able to grasp what has replaced it." In the Land of Last Things, Paul Auster

"There is only one lesson life is trying to teach us - shut the fuck up and enjoy the view." Charles Bukowski

"Painting is a poetry that is seen instead of felt." Leonardo da Vinci

"Don't try to become a successful man. Try to become a man of value." Albert Einstein

"I have always had a sense of the fragility of living things, as if at every moment it would take tremendous energy for them to stand, always under the threat of collapsing. It is through their fragility that my sculptures are similar." Alberto Giacometti

"Cinema implies a total reversal of values, a complete overturning of optics, of perspective, of logic. It is more exciting than phosphorus, more captivating than love." Antonin Artaud

"I am certain that one cannot be happy without money. That is all. I don't like ease or romanticism. I like to be aware. Well, I have noticed that among some elite people there is a kind of spiritual snobbery in believing that money is not necessary for happiness. It's silly, it's wrong, and to some extent it's cowardly." La mort heureuse, Camus

"Now, there is a life older than the ambitious or even amorous life, a solitude before the social life. Today, more than ever, it is this life that I join." Pascal Quignard

"Never ask what a man's origin is, rather question his life, his courage, his qualities and you will know what he is. If the water drawn from a river is healthy, pleasant and sweet, it is because it comes from a pure source." Abd El-Kader

"My paintings are only the ashes of my art." Yves Klein

"Do anything, but let it produce joy."
 Walt Whitman

"I fear the day when technology will overtake our human relationships. The world will have a generation of idiots." Albert Einstein

"To live as one would burst. To be youth in action. To take the piss out of the world and scream." Situation, Louis Calaferte

''There is no word for art... it is to transfer something from the real to the unreal. I am an owl... a happy owl." Kenojuak Ashevak, Inuk artist in her studio 

"I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you." Frida Kahlo

"The best thing into museums are their windows!" Pierre Bonnard

"Art is not vague production, transitory and isolated, but a power which must be directed to the improvement and refinement of the human soul." Wassily Kandinsky

"'Beauty that we know dies, and like that we know it exists.' A writer by day, a doctor by night, Céline auscultates bodies and works the material of words."

"I believe in the infusion of landscape into the mind. I am a child of the landscape. I also believe that the urban laundry in which we live, the atomization of activities, the fragmentation of time are the misfortunes of our modernity." Sylvain Tesson

"There must be something strangely sacred in salt. It is in our tears and in the sea." Khalil Gibran

"Loneliness? A burden, an anguish, a curse, as we have been led to believe, or on the contrary, the most precious value, being crushed by the omnipresent collectivity?" The Art of the Novel, Milan Kundera

"There are only two infinite things, the universe and human stupidity... but for the universe I have no absolute certainty." Albert Einstein

"Do not despise anyone's sensibility; everyone's sensibility is his genius." Baudelaire

"Lust, like an ancient goddess resurrected by the pride of a genius, twists her flesh and stretches it in joy." Futurist Manifesto of Lust, Valentine de Saint-Point

"I am no longer of this world, I am far from myself and detached from my person. I am at the essential things." Brancusi

"Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old." Franz Kafka

"I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality." Frida Kahlo

"What is more human for you? - To spare someone shame." Nietzsche

"When I was writing my Dalva Notebooks, I couldn't rely on anything but the Earth, the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. That's all I have." Jim Harrison

"I come from the ruins, the churches, the altarpieces, the forgotten villages of the Apennines and the Pre-Alps where my brothers lived." Pasolini

"Forgiveness is the only way to reverse the irreversible flow of history."

"It is in the void of thought that evil is inscribed." Hannah Arendt

"To the question, "Why do you write?" the most beautiful answer to me was the one Pa Kin made: "Because the beautiful life is too short." I had thought that was wonderful, because writing is living other lives, adding lives to the beautiful life, which is not so short anymore..."
 I am an Indignant of Africa
"Today, it is time to recognize all that the Amerindian societies have to tell us. It is time that their right to be independent peoples and masters of their future be recognized. And it is past time for us, trapped in our civilization of violence, to hear the teachings of the Native American peoples, among the most impoverished and true in the world." A New Philosophy of Man, J.M.G. Le Clézio

"It falls, it rains finely, it lies down like grasses, it erases out of idleness, as if to make visible time, the trembling of time." Roland Barthes, Cy Twombly

"In any case, writing should not be work. I have never wanted to work." Pierre Michon

"From solitude comes originality, beauty in its daring and strange aspects, the poem. And from solitude also, things in reverse, disordered, absurd, guilty." Death in Venice, Thomas Mann

"Truth must be found in reality, not systems." Joseph Beuys

"We may be living in a world (this was Gerasim Luca's conclusion just before his suicide) where poetry simply has no place anymore." Michel Houellebecq

"I am delighted and faltering with joy at the musical mystery that lies within me, that casts its reflections in melodious waves, that disintegrates me and reduces my substance to a pure rhythm." Musical Ecstasy, E. M. Cioran

"The great enemy of art. is the good taste." Marcel Duchamp

"Everything I write is the result of a real conquest over myself, an excruciating inner battle where my mind rarely has the upper hand. You will tell me that this adventure is that of all poets!" Letter to Jean Paulhan, Antonin Artaud

"The modern disorder [...] originated in the West, [...] is spreading everywhere and seems to be gaining even in the East." La Crise du monde moderne, René Guénon

"Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshiping." Hubert Reeves

"In the end, contemporary art may be nothing more than a game designed to distract men." Francis Bacon

"Is happiness a profession? I believe that happiness can be taught and that the white blood I bleed makes the whole world come alive." Jean Cocteau

"There is no word for Art. We say it is to transfer something from the real to the unreal."
"You are a spirit in a body...not a body with a spirit... so making the body beautiful is fun but making the spirit beautiful is the main goal of this life." Kenojuak Ashevak, Inuk artist.

"Refusing to explain his paintings, the painter Mark Rothko once said, Silence is so accurate."

"Simplicity is not a goal in art, but one arrives at simplicity in spite of oneself by approaching the real meaning of things." Brancusi

"Hasten to pass on your share of wonder, of rebellion, of beneficence." René Char

"Humor can only exist where people still discern the border between what is important and what is not. Today, this border is indistinguishable." Immortality, Milan Kundera

"When a painting is silent, it means it is successful. Some of my paintings begin in tumult. They are explosive. But I am only satisfied when they become silent." Serge Poliakoff

"Me, it is my body that thinks. It is more intelligent than my brain. It feels more finely, more completely than my brain. When my body thinks... everything else falls silent. At those moments, my whole skin has a soul." La Retraite sentimentale, Colette

"For me, only those count who are mad about something, mad about living, mad about talking, mad about being saved, those who want everything at once, those who never yawn, who don't say banalities, but burn, burn like fireworks." J. Kerouac

"Simply looking at a painting gives pleasure. It's like looking at flowers, you don't look for meaning in them." Jackson Pollock

"Love for all living creatures is the noblest attribute of man." Charles Darwin

"Man's wealth is in his heart. It is in his heart that he is the king of the world. To live does not require the possession of so many things." The True Richness, Jean Giono

"All that belongs to the illusory and magnetic fascination of dreams, all that, those dark layers of consciousness that are all that preoccupies us in the mind, we want to see it shine and triumph." Antonin Artaud

"Nor be afraid, if necessary, to defend yourself completely, to shut yourself in like a beast, and to seek solitude (which is divine)." Letter to Guido Santato, Pier Paolo Pasolini

"Remain a living spirit. Do not believe in honorific formulas or functions.Live as one would burst. To be youth in action. To make fun of the world and to howl." Situation, Louis Calaferte

"A time will come when despite all the pain we will be light, joyful and truthful." Albert Camus

"In truth I have filled the open sea with my soul." The Hundred of Love, Pablo Neruda

"I call poetry both the cry that pleasure tears from me or the sentence crushed by a stone. I call poetry both that which does not ask to be understood and that which requires the revolt of the ear." Le Fou d'Elsa, Louis Aragon

"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web." Pablo Picasso

"The supreme degree of beauty is grace, but by the word grace we also mean goodness. For the supreme goodness is that generosity of a life principle that gives itself indefinitely. This is the very meaning of grace." François Cheng

"To approach the spiritual in art, one will make as little use as possible of reality, because reality is opposed to the spiritual." Piet Mondriaan

"Only he who has learned early to enlarge his soul is able, later on, to grasp in himself the totality of the world." The World of Yesterday, Stefan Zweig

"Looking is not a matter of reflection but of breaking in. A sharp blow of the scalpel."

"No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except literally to get out of hell.” Van Gogh, the Man Suicided by Society, Antonin Artaud

"People who cry in front of my paintings have the same religious experience that I had when I painted them." Mark Rothko

"Some people are like stars traveling on a precise path, no wind reaches them, they have within themselves their guide and their path." Hermann Hesse.

"Each one wants to impose on others the universe he carries within him, as if this universe were external, as if everyone had to have a vision conforming to his own, and as if others could not be different from the image he has of them." Luigi Pirandello

"In art, everything is metaphysical." Pierre Soulages and Conques

"One must never forget that a painting cannot be as violent as life itself, and life is so violent..." Francis Bacon

"A work of art! Therein lies the unique mystery, the unique and extreme magic; everything else is either arithmetic or biology." Truman Capote

"Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness." Allen Ginsberg.

"Music, Beauty are within you and nowhere else in the insensitive world around us." Louis-Ferdinand Celine

"To me, punk rock is the freedom to create, freedom to be successful, freedom to not be successful, freedom to be who you are. It's freedom."
"Why can't I write words that would wake the dead? This question is the one that burns me most deeply." Just Kids
"I feel the unrest of the world in the pit of my stomach."
Nothing is ever solved. Solving is an illusion. There are moments of spontaneous brightness, when the mind appears emancipated, but that is mere epiphany.” Year of the Monkey, Patti Smith

"Any knowledge that isolates an object is more or less mutilated knowledge. What I call complex knowledge is not complete knowledge, but knowledge that recognizes the uncertainty within it." Edgar Morin

"The system does not choose the best, it chooses the most compliant, and that is dangerous." Albert Jacquard

"The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” Emily Dickinson

"It is a matter of living in this world as a stranger or as a fool..." Marcel Jouhandeau, Confrontation avec la poussière

"I told myself that one always wrote about the dead body of the world and, likewise, about the dead body of love. That it was in the states of absence that the written word was engulfed." Marguerite Duras

"I saw her fern-like eyes open in the morning on a world where the wingbeats of immense hope are barely distinguishable from the other noises that are those of terror, and on this world I had still only seen eyes close." La bouche de Nadja, André Breton

"Life teaches every living being prudence. It is an attitude and a form of life. It is enough to see the animals. Every movement is an ode to flexibility and interiority. His example is a way to show us the way to balance and harmony." Jirokana saying

"The cinematograph seems to me to be the typical weapon, when a poet aims at a goal of everyday familiarity, of the unusual, of the sublime serenity whose blend is the stuff of dreams." Jean Cocteau

"Their wings are mine | Nothing exists but their flight | Which shakes my misery | Their flight of star and light | The clear waves of their wings." Capitale de la douleur, Paul Éluard

"Eh! What do you like, extraordinary stranger? I love the clouds... the clouds that pass... over there... over there... the wonderful clouds!" L’étranger, Charles Baudelaire

"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." Beethoven

"What my language hides, my body says. My body is a stubborn child, my language is a very civilized adult..." La passion du langage, Roland Barthes

"Nowadays, no man with a little culture talks about the beauty of couchants. Couchants are completely out of fashion. They date from a time when Turner was the ultimate in art." Oscar Wilde

"The basic problem consists, for me as for you, in not doing the "petit-Bourgeois" things of which France is full (...) Color for color, that's all. Druzy sample. Don't look at the museums, but at the tubes that are there." Nicolas de Staël, 1954

"I’m not interested in ‘abstracting’ or taking things out or reducing painting to design, form, line, and color. I paint this way because I can keep putting more things in it - drama, anger, pain, love, a figure, my ideas about space..." Willem De Kooning

"Men today want the poem to be like their lives, made of so little care, so little space and burned with intolerance." Fureur et mystère, René Char

"A distinguished soul, far from being one that is capable of the highest flights, is one that rises little and falls little, but stands always at an altitude where the air is free and bright enough." Human, Too Human, Friedrich Nietzsche

"Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." Leonard Cohen

"Being different is neither a good nor a bad thing. It simply means that you are brave enough to be yourself." Albert Camus

"In our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess." Dalai Lama

"Art cannot be modern, art is eternal." Egon Schiele

"Wherever you are, and whatever you do, be in love." Rumi 

"So we live in the time of the big cities. Deliberately, the world has been amputated of what makes its permanence: nature, the sea, the hill, the meditation of the evenings." Albert Camus

"Do not imitate anything or anyone. A lion who copies a lion becomes a monkey." Victor Hugo

"Even before disappearing from the landscape, the paths have disappeared from the human soul: man no longer has the desire to walk and to enjoy it. Neither does he see his life as a path, but as a road: as a line leading from one point to another. The time to live has been reduced to a mere obstacle that must be overcome at ever increasing speed." Immortality, Milan Kundera

"What do we understand about our fellow man, then, if not his boundaries. We give him form from our knowledge of ourselves in order to make him a satellite of our own system." Aurora, thoughts on moral prejudice, Friedrich Nietzsche

"At the bottom of all beauty lies something inhuman." Albert Camus

"Relating a person to the whole world: that is the meaning of cinema." Sculpting in Time, Andrei Tarkovsky

"Nature does not ask your permission, she has nothing to do with your wishes, and whether you like her laws or dislike them, you are bound to accept her as she is, and consequently all her conclusions." Notes from Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky

"We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love....and then we return home." Australian Aboriginal saying

It’s not where you take things from it’s where you take them to." Jean-Luc Godard

"So plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." J.L. Borges 

"Men must find instinct again." Maria Callas quoted by Denis Roche in Temps profond

"This atrocious age can only be saved by the forces of the heart." Jean Cocteau

"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass & loses itself in the Sunset." Isapo-Muxika Chief of the Siksika First Nation

"There is no dead matter," he taught us, "lifelessness is only a disguise behind which hide unknown forms of life. The range of these forms is infinite and their shades and nuances limitless." Bruno Schulz

"A wise man must talk with men who understand nothing as if he were a fool!" Henry Miller

"The man who takes himself seriously is doomed..." "There is nothing wrong with life itself. It is the ocean in which we swim and we either adapt to it or sink to the bottom. But it is in our power as human beings not the destroy the spirit which animates us." Henry Miller

"We write, like Proust, to render all of it eternal, and to persuade ourselves that it is eternal.We write to expand our world when we feel strangled, or constricted, or lonely...It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave, and I call it breathing." Anaïs Nin

"Who has not suffered in the essence of his being is unaware of the difficulty of life. For it is not enough to learn to think, one must first be." Introspection de la fatigue, Antonin Artaud

"I want to write for the beauty of the look" he announces, "for the purity of language. I want to write to be on the side of animals and children, on the side of those who see the world as it is, who know all its beauty." L’inconnu sur la terre, JMG Le Clezio

"I see life as a great relay race where each of us before falling must carry further the challenge of being a man." Romain Gary

"When you can't be a power, you can be an example." Albert Camus

"I only regret that I am not a child (I could believe in my dreams), nor a madman (I could dismiss from my soul all those who besiege me)." Le Livre de l’intranquillité, Fernando Pessoa

"If we look at the path, we do not see the Sky. We are Earth People on a Spiritual Journey to the Stars. Our Quest, our Earth Walk, is to look Within, to know who We Are, to see that We are Connected to all things, that there is no Separation, only in the Mind." Native American saying

"As you rise in the morning, remember how precious is the privilege of living, breathing, being happy." Marcus Aurelius

"I am nothing, I know, but I make up my nothing with a little piece of everything." Victor Hugo

"There are false poets in every school, people who simply do not belong. But they always disappear in the end because the forces of life crush them under something else." Charles Bukowski

"Respect for the Environment and Respect for what was naturally occurring in Nature: That was the bedrock of all Original Peoples. Harmony & Coexistence, Not Conquest and Conquer." L.A Banks.

"They came with a Bible and their Religion. They Stole our Land and Crushed our Spirit, and now tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved." Chief Pontiac (1720-1769)

"Everything in Nature is alive and influences your thoughts whether you know it or not. Whose to say a Rock does not hear your thoughts Nor the River or the Mountain Ranges. We All Belong to this Living World and there is nothing that does not belong." Tony Ten Fingers

"Writing is work, almost a game and a joy; The essential thing is not the writing, it is the vision." Marguerite Yourcenar

"The best the artist can hope for is to engage those with eyes to look too." George Sand.

"The wicked act is a transfer onto others of the degradation one carries within oneself." Simone Weil

"In a painting, I would like to say something consoling like music." Vincent Van Gogh

"In the depths of matter grows a dark vegetation; in the night of matter bloom black flowers. They already have their velvet and the formula of their perfume." L'Eau et les Rêves, Gaston Bachelard

"I was born a bitch. I was born a painter." Frida Kahlo 

"I cannot look at a tree leaf without being crushed by the Universe." Victor Hugo

"In the best, it is difficult to do better, but in the worst, it is always easy to do worse." Curnonsky

"Being happy does not mean that everything is perfect. It means that you have decided to look beyond the imperfections." Aristotle

"An artist must never be a prisoner of himself, prisoner of a style, prisoner of a reputation, prisoner of success…" Matisse

"It is not because life is not elegant that one must behave like it." Françoise Sagan

"I vegetate in the worst kind of moral laziness. I never work. What comes out of me is drawn as if at random. And I could write or say or think anything other than what I say or think and that would represent me just as well." Antonin Artaud

"The belief that nothing changes comes from either poor eyesight or bad faith. The former can be corrected, the latter can be fought." Friedrich Nietzsche

"The only absolute knowledge attainable by man is that life is meaningless." A Confession, Leo Tolstoy

"At sea, it's not like at school, there are no teachers. There is the sea and there is you. And the sea does not teach, the sea does things, in its own way." Les poissons ne ferment pas les yeux, Erri De Luca

"Events bore me, Events are only the foam of things, What interests me is the sea." Regards sur le monde actuel, Paul Valéry

"The intelligence of an individual is measured by the amount of uncertainty he is able to bear." Emmanuel Kant

"One must have the strength of total criticism, of refusal, of desperate and useless denunciation." Lutheran Letters, Pier Paolo Pasolini

"'I write as I breathe, so to speak.' Friday Reading 1959: an encounter with a sulphurous myth of American literature, Henry Miller, who speaks here (in French) for the very first time in front of a television camera."

"I feel there is something unexplored about woman that only a woman can explore." Georgia O'Keeffe

"So goes the whole of life. one seeks rest by fighting a few obstacles, and if one has overcome them, rest becomes unbearable." Blaise Pascal

"Live, ah! Live, then, and what does it matter what happens next! Do not have any remorse. You are not a judge..." Bourlinguer, Blaise Cendrars

"Every good artist paints what he is.” Jackson Pollock

"Art often finds its source in a wound, a lack, and it is not uncommon for artists to be fundamentally rebellious. Through art, I believe that we seek to overcome pain to allow a better world to come about. Creation is like a cry." Michael Lonsdale, died September 21, 2020

"He who climbs Mount Fuji once is wise, he who climbs it twice is a fool." Japanese proverb

"The forbidden is in your heart and it alone matters to you, so send two thousand years of modesty packing." Poems of Youth, Pier Paolo Pasolini

"The meaning of life is to find your gift. the purpose of life is to share it." Pablo Picasso

"We are disrupting the natural world in such massive ways that we are endangering the fertility of the world. We are endangering the very existence of this world as a fertile planet." Sir David Attenborough

"Whether one makes sculpture or painting or writing or any such activity it is always to give a certain permanence to what is desapearing." Alberto Giacometti

"The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary secretion of adrenaline, but the construction, over a lifetime, of a state of wonder and serenity." Glenn Gould

"Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together." Thomas Carlyle

"True music is silence and all the notes are just framing that silence." Miles Davis

"I hear your voice in all the noise of the world." Paul Eluard

"Reading then is a carmen, a charm, a siren song, a shamanic odos, a nebulous tao. It is probably not necessary to say of the reader that he does not see any more "to pass the time" he plunges in the formerly where the diachrony dissolves..." Pascal Quignard

"Robert Musil is an Austrian writer who, on the eve of the Second World War, says to himself that in order to better grasp and understand his time and his contemporaries, it is not war, politics or economics, but stupidity that must be studied."

"Among the five senses, sight, hearing and smell know fewer prohibitions than touch and taste." Leonardo Da Vinci.

"Cinema, in any case, is always more important than life." American Night, François Truffaut

"My problem is not one of morality but of cosmology: we were mistaken in conceiving the world as a ranch to be taken care of. We were wrong, we are shaped by the living." Baptiste Morizot in Boomerang, Radio emission

"Those who dream awake are conscious of a thousand things which escape those who only dream asleep." Edgar Allan Poe

"O poets! The only true lovers! They are not men That I have loved, But souls." The Notebooks 1913-1939, Marina Tsvetaeva

"Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture." Allen Ginsberg

"Man, free thinker! Do you think you are the only thinker in this world where life bursts into everything?" Vers dorés, Les Chimères, Gérard de Nerval

"Pictures must be miraculous." Mark Rothko

"Our works in stone, in paint, in print, are spared, some of them, for a few decades or a millennium or two, but everything must finally fall in war, or wear away into the ultimate and universal ash." Orson Welles

"Poetry is what happens when nothing else can." Charles Bukowski

"People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” Psychology and Alchemy, Carl Jung

"I am sometimes an innocent, sometimes a monster. Everything in between is of no interest to me. Everything in between is corrupt. Only the innocent and the monster are free. They are elsewhere." Gerard Depardieu

"We live in a world where funerals count more than the dead man, marriage more than love and the physical more than the intellectual. We live in the culture of the package, which despises the content." Eduardo Galeano

"A painter cannot be hedonistic, since he is a worker. He can agree with hedonism, but he will always work. Me, I have worked at painting every day of my life." David Hockney

"It's only when everything is lost and - instead of giving up, you go on... suddenly you have the feeling - be it an illusion or not - that something new has opened up." Alberto Giacometti

"I was going, blindfolded, staggering, hesitating; I was proud, arrogant, content to lead the false and restricted life of the city dweller. The light of Greece opened my eyes; it penetrated my pores and dilated my whole being." The Colossus of Maroussi, Henry Miller 

"Art is not the application of a canon of beauty, but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don’t start measuring her limbs." Pablo Picasso

"Seduce me. Write letters to me. And poems, I love poems. Ravish me with your words. Seduce me." Anne Boleyn

"But is there still a sky? I touch everywhere the smashed heart of man That black heart crushed by the heavy footsteps Of sorrows that weep." Le Lotissement du ciel, Blaise Cendrars

"If nothing can save us from death, let love at least save our lives." Pablo Neruda

"I think that photography has something sacred in that it is a medium to link the real world to the mysterious world that surrounds us." Paolo Roversi

"Schools serve the same social functions as prisons and mental institutions to define, classify, control, and regulate people." Michel Foucault

"There is in sensuality a kind of cosmic elation." Jean Giono

"Some days I dreamed of an eraser to erase human filth." Louis Aragon

"Real life is better off if it is given its fair vacation of unreality." Gaston Bachelard

"The only people who exist are those who have the dementia to live." Jack Kerouac

"If you understood everything I said, you’d be me." Miles Davis

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

"My happiness is the way of everyday life. The den in the rocks and misty ivy. Wild emotions and unrestrained freedom. I laze with my friends the clouds." Han-Chan, Chinese hermit and poet - 7th century

"Show them life, and they'll find within themselves the means to assess and appreciate it." Andréi Tarkovski

"I swell with a milk of poems, unable to overflow, to the brim, and yet I still fill up." Vladimir Mayakovsky

"It is only to love and to know, that counts, not to have loved, nor to have known. It is anguish to live of a past love. The soul does not grow any more. [...] To be a poet, you need time: many hours of solitude, the only way for something to take shape, vice, freedom, to give style to chaos." La religion de mon temps, Pier Paolo Pasolini

"I can only sing this song to those who understand it. [...] How difficult it is to find love! But thanks to this dream uniting our universes, At last we have found each other!" Atanarjuat, the legend of the fast man, Inuit film

"God has reserved for himself the distribution of two or three small things on which the gold of the powerful of the earth can do nothing: genius, beauty and happiness." Theophile Gautier

"To neglect the small things under the pretext that one would like to make big ones is the excuse of cowards." Alexandra David-Néel

"Let him live like this without hurting him! Let him go; he is a dreamer who is passing." Un poète, Emile Nelligan

"The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction the weight, the weight we carry is love." Allen Ginsberg

"It is easier to disintegrate an atom than a prejudice." Albert Einstein

"Anything that degrades culture shortens the paths that lead to servitude." Albert Camus

"Each Soul must meet the Morning Sun, the New Sweet Earth, and the Great Silence Alone!. What is Silence? It is the Great Mystery! The Holy Silence is His voice!" The Soul of the Indian, Charles Alexander (Ohiyesa) Eastman, 1858-1939 

"It is because they thus contain the hours of the past that human bodies can do so much harm to those who love them." Le Temps retrouvé, Marcel Proust

"I cannot think that we are useless or Usen would not have created us There is one Usen looking down on us all We are all children of one Usen The sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we have to say." Goyaale/Geronimo/Apache 1829-1909

"Insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity." Jean Dubuffet 

"I am only a silky fragment of a woman." Diary Volume I
"No two skins have the same texture and never the same light, the same temperature, the same shadows, never the same gestures; for a lover, when animated by true love, can run the entire gamut of centuries of amorous science." Delta de Venus, Anaïs Nin 

"Art is not a reflection of reality, it is the reality of a reflection." Jean-Luc Godard

"We will be poor and we will suffer misery as long as it takes like a besieged city that does not intend to capitulate, but we will show them that we are worth something." Vincent Van Gogh letter to his brother Theo, January 1886

"No matter how far you travel. You can never get away from yourself." Haruki Murakami

"Magical Egyptian Amulets called "Hypocephalus" They were placed under the heads of the deceased in order to protect them on their journeys into the Afterlife. Instructions on their creation are included in the Book of the Dead and each is unique to the person it was buried with."

"Be careful not to live within the limits of the pre-existing belief systems that has placed limits upon a limitless Soul." Oglala Lakota saying

"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."
"Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." Leonard Cohen

"Every two or three years, any book by any thinker, any verse by any poet will appear to the reader with a new face, will be understood differently, will awaken in him other resonances." Magic of the Book, Hermann Hesse

"I was wondering about this mysterious notion: the sex of the woman." Michel Tournier

"Not all roses are pink. All willows are not weeping. Yet I know of doors never closed and of Heroes who are always afraid." Le guetteur mélancolique, Apollinaire 

"Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution." Albert Einstein

"I believe that art is the only form of activity through which man as such manifests himself as a true individual. By it alone, he can overcome the animal stage..." Marcel Duchamp

"And when you are not there, I dream that I sleep, I dream that I dream." Paul Éluard

"It's high time to light the stars back on." Guillaume Apollinaire

"I wrote silences, nights, I noted the inexpressible. I was fixing vertigo." Arthur Rimbaud

"Is ugly in Art what is false, what is artificial, what seeks to be pretty or beautiful instead of being expressive... all that is without soul and without truth, all that is only a parade of beauty or grace, all that lies." Rodin

"Religion is not a belief established once and for all, a belief in supernatural phenomena that supposedly occurred in the past, nor the belief in the necessity of certain prayers and rites. Nor is it, as the scholars think, the remnant of ancient superstitions and ignorances that in our time there is no need to adapt to life. Religion is man's relationship with eternal life, with God, a relationship established in accordance with contemporary reason and science, which alone pushes mankind forward towards the goal assigned to it. The human soul is the lamp of God, says a page of Hebrew expression. Man is a weak, miserable animal until the light of God burns in his soul. And when this light ignites, it ignites only in the soul illuminated by religion, man becomes the most powerful being in the world. And it cannot be otherwise, because then it is no longer his power that acts in him, but God's. This is what religion is and what its essence consists of." Leo Tolstoy on God, recorded in 1910

"Of all the sciences that man can and should know, the principal one is the science of living in such a way as to do the least harm and the most good." letter to Romain Rolland, 1887, Leo Tolstoy

"And I carry with me this ardent suffering | As the glow-worm holds its fiery body | As in the heart of the soldier it throbs France | And as in the heart of the lily the fragrant pollen." Tristesse d’une étoile, Guillaume Apollinaire

"The most exciting attractions are between two opposites that never meet." Andy Warhol

 "What I will do is the impression of what I will have felt." Claude Monet

"There is a spectacle greater than the sea, it is the sky, there is a spectacle greater than the sky, it is the interior of the soul." Victor Hugo

"Surrealism is the magical surprise of finding a lion in a closet, where one was sure to find shirts." Frida Kahlo

"God is dead. Marx is dead. And I don't feel so well myself." Eugène Ionesco

"It is quite possible that a particular conjunction of the stars is indispensable for a poet to come into this world." Novalis

"Art attracts us only because it reveals our most secret self." Jean-Luc Godard

"For every beauty, there is somewhere an eye to see it. For every truth, there is somewhere an ear to hear it. For every love, somewhere there is a heart to receive it." Le calice de la vie, Ivan Bunin

"You may see the world around you devastated by dangerous madmen, or know that your honor is trampled in the sewers of the vilest minds, there is only one thing to do in such conditions: learn." Sources II, Marguerite Yourcenar

"I prefer to their dogma my excursions into the natural gardens where the voice of the Great Spirit is heard in the twittering of birds the rippling of mighty waters & the sweet breathing of flowers If this is Paganism then at present at least I am a Pagan." Zitkala-Sa, 1876-1938

"Live, love, this is wisdom: outside of pleasure and tenderness, all is falsehood and vanity." Alphonse de Lamartine

"As Art sinks into a dead end, artists multiply. This anomaly ceases to be one, if we consider that Art, in the process of being exhausted, has become both impossible and easy." De l'inconvénient d'être né, Emil Cioran

"Look at the evening as if the day were to die there; And the morning as if everything were to be born there. Let your vision be at every moment new. The wise man is the one who is astonished by everything." Les nourritures terrestres, André Gide

"We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness. We are monkeys with money and guns." Tom Waits

"What molting is for birds, the time when they change their plumage, for us human beings: it is adversity or misfortune, hard times. We can stay in this moult, we can also come out of it as renewed." Vincent van Gogh

"Death is the mother of beauty. Only the perishable can be beautiful, which is why we are not moved by artificial flowers." Harmonium, Wallace Stevens

"Being free!... I speak aloud so that this beautiful faded word may resume its life, its flight, its green reflection of wild wing and forest." L'Entrave, Colette

"Convulsive beauty will be erotic-violent, explosive-fixed, magical-circumstantial or it will not be." L'Amour fou, André Breton

"Do not move, let the wind speak: Paradise is here." Ezra Pound

"Music is a universe, infinitely real though elusive and evanescent. An individual who cannot penetrate it, because he is insensitive to its magic, is deprived of the very reason to exist. The supreme is inaccessible to him." E. M. Cioran

"It is not the landscape that is small. It is the window through which one looks at it." Tibetan proverb

"Now I live in a ghost world, enclosed in my own dreams and imaginings." The Seventh Seal, Ingmar Bergman

Bodies have their own light which they consume to live: they burn, they are not lit from the outside.” Egon Schiele

"Let us remember that there would be fewer child martyrs if there were fewer tortured animals, fewer wagons bringing the victims of dictatorships to their deaths, if we had not become accustomed to vans where animals agonize without food and water..." Marguerite Yourcenar

"I loved music, books, museums. They helped me at first, then they tired me. They sharpen the thirst. They do not quench. I was not tired of them. But I was tired of me." The Prelude, Paul Géraldy

"Sensuality is the maximum mobilization of the senses."
"It seems that there is a very specific area in the brain that could be called the poetic memory and that records what has charmed us, what has moved us, what gives our life its beauty." The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

"The eternal feminine draws us upwards." Goethe

"Life is short but very wide." Jim Harrison

"I put together the notes that love each other." Mozart

"We must get used to it: at the most important crossroads in our lives, there are no signs." Ernest Hemingway

"I want the useless, the majestic, I want marble busts on leprous facades, I want streets where you get lost, a labyrinth, a maze, the screaming songs of my neighborhood and the wide-open bars... I want Palermo." Oublier Palerme, Edmonde Charles-Roux

"To the Indians it seemed that these Europeans hated everything in nature - the living forests and their birds and beasts, the grassy grades, the water, the soil, the air itself…" Dee Brown

"Go against the rules or ignore the rules. That's what invention is about." Helen Frankenthaler 

"The museum s are importants to those who go to it insofar as it allows them to distinguish themselves from those who do not go."
"There are many intellectuals who question the world; there are very few intellectuals who question the intellectual world." Esquisse pour une auto-analyse, Pierre Bourdieu

"Painting does not reproduce the visible, it makes visible." Paul Klee

"The body is always ahead of thought." Michel Foucault

"If authentic spirituality still existed anywhere, it was certainly in India... God had moved to India."
"We revolve around a center to draw space to us and make sense of the chaos of time." Olga Tokarczuk

"I have never touched the bottom, that ultimate point where surrender is imposed. A tiny part of my mind clung to the idea that to give up was to accept death." Slavomir Rawicz

"I listened to his 'thought-words' as they moved across the page, as if from a violin, I looked at his books like a painter's canvas... I never felt enlightened enough to understand him." Julien Gracq

"No one has ever written or painted, sculpted, modeled, built, invented, than to actually get out of hell." Antonin Artaud

"A little joy was needed to endure unhappiness, to go on living, he knew that now, any kind of joy, even a tiny one, even a silly one." Albert Cohen

"Know this, O world!

The poet discovers in his dreams
The formula of the flower and the law of the star
." Marina Tsvetaeva

"Try to always keep a piece of blue sky above your life." Du côté de chez Swann, Marcel Proust 

"Epitaph for the famed Roman charioteer Scorpus by the poet Martial: "Here I lie, Scorpus: the pride of the noisy circus, the darling of Rome. Spiteful Fate snatched me away in my twenty-sixth year. She must have counted my victories and not my years, and decided that I was an old man. What a crime, to be cheated of my youth. I fell and died, harnessing too soon those dark horses of death. The finish line of the race, which I time and again sped across in my chariot, now becomes the finish line of my life."
Scorpus raced for the Green team in the 1st century AD and won 2048 races. Despite being a slave he would become enormously wealthy, surpassing even his Roman patrons. Like many racers in the deadly sport of charioteering, Scorpus seems to have been killed in a crash."

"If I don't like a thing, I don't like it, that's all; and nothing in the world will make me like it, because the vast majority of my contemporaries like it or pretend to like it. My likes and dislikes do not follow fashion." Martin Eden, Jack London

"I have always been convinced that the wonderful is part of the soul." Arthur Machen

"We live amid surfaces, and the true art of life is to skate well on them." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"All around the planet, when you are in an enclosed place with a gate, a peristyle, a step, well, you are in a sacred place. You have, each time, a limit, a border, that is to say, a demarcation. - A place withdrawn from the commercial relationship, protected and inalienable. A sacred object cannot be exchanged for anything, it cannot be sold. - The existence of a sacred is the a priori condition of any durable human community, that is an invariant. - Where there is sacredness, there is prohibition. The sacred is not soft, it is hard. - The sacred, it is a distant which is very close, there is a distance. There is a change of state when you go from a profane place to a sacred place. - Without the sacred, there is no sacredness: no vitality!" Excerpts from Regis Debré's interview in Marianne Magazine, 12/29/2020

Besançon, December 29th 2020