André Gide, fully André Paul Guillaume Gide

Gide, fully André Paul Guillaume Gide

French Novelist. Humorist, Moralist, Nobel Prize in Literature

Author Quotes

Whence: do not seek to be through the vain desire toappear; but rather because it is fitting to be so.

Whenever I get ready again to write really sincere notes in this notebook, I shall have to undertake such a disentangling in my cluttered brain that, to stir up all that dust, I am waiting for a series of vast empty hours, a long cold, a convalescence, during which my constantly reawakened curiosities will lie at rest; during which my sole care will be to rediscover myself.

This occurs to me: the old Adam is the poet. The new man, whom you prefer, is the artist. The artist must take the place of the poet. From the struggle between the two is born the work of art.

When one has begun to write, the hardest thing is to be sincere. Essential to mull over that idea and to define artistic sincerity. Meanwhile, I hit upon this: the word must never precede the idea. Or else: the word must always be necessitated by the idea. It must be irresistible and inevitable; and the same is true of the sentence, of the whole work of art. And for the artist's whole life, since his vocation must be irresistible...

And do not long, through vanity, for too hasty manifestation of one's essence.

Dare to be yourself. I must underline that in my head too.

Don't ever do anything through affectation or to make people like you or through imitation or for the pleasure of contradicting.

I am torn by a conflict between the rules of morality and the rules of sincerity.

I must stop puffing up my pride (in this notebook) just for the sake of doing as Stendhal did. The spirit of imitation; watch out for it. It is useless to do something simply because another man has done it. One must remember the rule of conduct of the great after having isolated it from the contingent facts of their lives, rather than imitating the little facts.

Morality consists in substituting for the natural creature (the old Adam) a fiction that you prefer. But then you are no longer sincere. The old Adam is the sincere man.

My mind was quibbling just now as to whether one must first be before appearing or first appear and then be what one appears. (Like the people who first buy on credit and later worry about their debt; appearing before being amounts to getting in debt toward the physical world.)

Oh, to be utterly and perfectly sincere...

Pay no attention to appearing. Being is alone important.

Perhaps, my mind said, we are only in so far as we appear. Moreover the two propositions are false when separated. (1) We are for the sake of appearing. (2) We appear because we are. The two must be joined in a mutual dependence. Then you get the desired imperative. One must be to appear. The appearing must not be distinguished from the being; the being asserts itself in the appearing; the appearing is the immediate manifestation of the being.

Rather than recounting his life as he has lived it, [the artist] must live his life as he will recount it. In other words, the portrait of him formed by his life must identify itself with the ideal portrait he desires. And, in still simpler terms, he must be as he wishes to be.

Make yourself indispensable.

One completely overcomes only what one assimilates.

In order to be utterly happy, the only thing necessary is to refrain from comparing this moment with other moments in the past - which I often did not fully enjoy because I was comparing them with other moments of the future.

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

Each of us really understands in others only those feelings he is capable of producing in himself.

Dare to be yourself.

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.

Complete possession is proved only by giving. All you are unable to give possesses you.

The world will be saved by one or two people.

Pay no attention to appearing. Being is alone important.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Gide, fully André Paul Guillaume Gide
Birth Date
Death Date

French Novelist. Humorist, Moralist, Nobel Prize in Literature