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André Gide Quotes


Inspirational Andre Gide Quotes

 

André Paul Guillaume Gide (22 November 1869 – 19 February 1951) was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947.

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André Gide Quotes about Art


“It is with noble sentiments that bad literature gets written.”

– André Gide, as quoted in a Letter to François Mauriac


“The sole art that suits me is that which, rising from unrest, tends toward serenity.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Journals


“The artist who is after success lets himself be influenced by the public. Generally such an artist contributes nothing new, for the public acclaims only what it already knows, what it recognizes.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Reflections on Literature and Morality

 


“Art begins with resistance — at the point where resistance is overcome. No human masterpiece has ever been created without great labor.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Poétique


“Pay attention only to the form; emotion will come spontaneously to inhabit it. A perfect dwelling always finds an inhabitant. The artist’s business is to build the dwelling; as for the inhabitant, it is up to the reader to provide him.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Reflections on Literature and Morality

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André Gide Quotes about Life & Wisdom


“What another would have done as well as you, do not do it. What another would have said as well as you, do not say it; what another would have written as well, do not write it. Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself — and thus make yourself indispensable.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Les Nourritures Terrestres (1897)


“In my present insistence on high standards you will see that there is less self-indulgence than resolve and application. I do not let the Christian monopolize the ideal of perfection. I have my own virtue, which I am constantly cultivating and refining by teaching myself not to tolerate in me or my surroundings anything but the exquisite.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Reflections on Literature and Morality


“It seems to me that had I not known Dostoevsky or Nietzsche or Freud or X or Z, I should have thought just as I did, and that I found in them rather an authorization than an awakening. Above all, they taught me to cease doubting, to cease fearing my thoughts, and to let those thoughts lead me to those lands that were not uninhabitable because after all I found them already there.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Reflections on Literature and Morality

 


“Believe those who seek the truth, doubt those who find it; doubt all, but do not doubt yourself.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Gallimard


“Most often people seek in life occasions for persisting in their opinions rather than for educating themselves.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Reflections on Literature and Morality


“To know how to free oneself is nothing; the arduous thing is to know what to do with one’s freedom.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Reflections on Literature and Morality

 


“True intelligence very readily conceives of an intelligence superior to its own; and this is why truly intelligent men are modest.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Reflections on Literature and Morality


“When intelligent people pride themselves on not understanding, it is quite natural they should succeed better than fools.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Reflections on Literature and Morality

 


“The most important things to say are those which often I did not think necessary for me to say — because they were too obvious.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Journals


“Sin is whatever obscures the soul.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Portraits and Aphorisms


“Families, I hate you! Shut-in homes, closed doors, jealous possessions of happiness.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Les Nourritures Terrestres (1897), book IV


“The abominable effort to take one’s sins with one to paradise.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Journals


“Often the best in us springs from the worst in us.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Reflections on Literature and Morality


“There is no feeling so simple that it is not immediately complicated and distorted by introspection.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Reflections on Literature and Morality

 


“There are many things that seem impossible only so long as one does not attempt them.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Portraits and Aphorisms


“Generally among intelligent people are found nothing but paralytics and among men of action nothing but fools.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Reflections on Literature and Morality

 


“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight, for a very long time, of the shore.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Portraits and Aphorisms, Frequently misattributed to Christopher Columbus.

 


“Wisdom comes not from reason but from love.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Fruits of the Earth


“The finest virtues can become deformed with age. The precise mind becomes finicky; the thrifty man, miserly; the cautious man, timorous; the man of imagination, fanciful. Even perseverance ends up in a sort of stupidity. Just as, on the other hand, being too willing to understand too many opinions, too diverse ways of seeing, constancy is lost and the mind goes astray in a restless fickleness.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Reflections on Literature and Morality

 


“At times it seems to me that I am living my life backwards, and that at the approach of old age my real youth will begin. My soul was born covered with wrinkles—wrinkles my ancestors and parents most assiduously put there and that I had the greatest trouble removing.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Reflections on Literature and Morality

 


“The most decisive actions of our life — I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future — are, more often than not, unconsidered.”

– André Gide, as quoted in Les Faux Monnayeurs (1925)


“Let every emotion be capable becoming an intoxication to you. If what you eat fails to make you drunk, it is because you are not hungry enough.”

– André Gide, as quoted in, Les Nourritures Terrestres (1897)

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