Rémy de Gourmont
Quotations


Aesthetic emotion puts man in a state favorable to the reception of erotic emotion. . . . Art is the accomplice of love. Take love away and there is no longer art.

The whole effort of a sincere man is to erect his personal impressions into laws.

The human mind is so complex and things are so tangled up with each other that, to explain a blade of straw, one would have to take to pieces an entire universe. . . . A definition is a sack of flour compressed into a thimble.

We live less and less, and we learn more and more. Sensibility is surrendering to intelligence.

Nothing exists except by virtue of a disequilibrium, an injustice. All existence is a theft paid for by other existences; no life flowers except on a cemetery.

Each man must grant himself the emotions that he needs and the morality that suits him.

Industry has operated against the artisan in favor of the idler, and also in favor of capital and against labor. Any mechanical invention whatsoever has been more harmful to humanity than a century of war.

Man associates ideas not according to logic or verifiable exactitude, but according to his pleasure and interests. It is for this reason that most truths are nothing but prejudices.

Science is the only truth and it is the great lie. It knows nothing, and people think it knows everything. It is misrepresented. People think that science is electricity, automobilism, and dirigible balloons. It is something very different. It is life devouring itself. It is the sensibility transformed into intelligence. It is the need to know stifling the need to live. It is the genius of knowledge vivisecting the vital genius.

Life is a series of sensations connected to different states of consciousness.

Man, in spite of his tendency towards mendacity, has a great respect for what he calls the truth. Truth is his staff in his voyage through life; commonplaces are the bread in his bag and the wine in his jug.

If the secret of being a bore is to tell all, the secret of pleasing is to say just enough to be--not understood, but divined.

Since art is the expression of beauty and beauty can be understood only in the form of the material elements of the true idea it contains, art has become almost uniquely feminine. Beauty is woman, and also art is woman.



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