Jean Anouilh, fully Jean Marie Lucien Pierre Anouilh

Jean
Anouilh, fully Jean Marie Lucien Pierre Anouilh
1910
1987

French Dramatist best known for his play Antigone

Author Quotes

I don't want people to love me. It makes for obligations.

Life is a child playing round your feet, a tool you hold firmly in your grip, a bench you sit down upon in the evening, in your garden.

A happy love is full of quarrels, you know.

Death has to be waiting at the end of the ride before you truly see the earth, and feel your heart, and love the world.

I have other plans for you. You?re going to marry Haemon; and I want you to fatten up a bit so that you can give him a sturdy boy.

Life is a wonderful thing to talk about, or to read about in history books -- but it is terrible when one has to live it. It is almost impossible to sleep for more than twelve hours a day, and the remaining twelve hours have to be filled in somehow.

All children are sweet at five. But at twelve they begin to get silly.

Death is beautiful. It alone gives love its true habitat.

I like reality. It tastes like bread.

Life is very nice, but it lacks form. It's the aim of art to give it some.

All evil comes from the old. They grow fat on ideas and young men die of them.

Don't make the mistake of believing it's enough to reproduce the realities of life.... The object of art is to give life a shape, and to do it by every conceivable artifice.

I spit on your happiness! I spit on your idea of life - that life That must go on, come what may. You are all like dogs lick that they smell everything. You with your promise of a humdrum happiness - Provided a person does not ask much of life. I want everything of life, I do; and I want it now! I want it total, complete: otherwise I reject it! I will not be moderate. I will not be satisfied with the bit of cake you offer me if I promise to be a good little girl. I want to be safe of everything this very day; sour that everything will be as beautiful as when I was a little girl. If not, I want to die!

Life isn't what you think it is. It's like water, and the young let it trickle away between their fingers without even noticing. Cup your hands, keep it safe. Life eventually becomes something else, something hard, something simple, something you can hold in your hand and nibble on contentedly as you sit in the sun.

All prisons are brimming over with innocence. It is those who cram their fellows into them, in the name of empty ideas, who are the only guilty ones.

Each of us has a day, more or less sad, more or less distant, when he has to accept, finally, the fact that he is a man.

If Haemon reaches the point where he stops growing pale with fear when I grow pale, stops thinking that I must have been killed in an accident when I am five minutes late, stops feeling that he is alone on earth when I laugh and he doesn't know why?if he too has to learn to say yes to everything?why, no, then, no! I do not love Haemon!

Listen to that--just listen to that. It puffs, it pants, it wheezes, it yanks its damn carcass up step by step--who'd ever believe that on stage it's a young girl.

Amputee! ... O sun, if it's true that I come from you, why have you made ??me amputated? Why have you made ??me a girl? Why these breasts, this weakness, this open wound in my midst? Would not it have been nice Medea the boy? Would it have been stronger? The body hard like stone, and made ??to take leave after, firm, intact, whole, him! Ah! it could have come then, Jason, with its large formidable hands, he could have tried to put them on me! A knife, each in his own -yes! - And the stronger kills the other and walks issued. Not this fight where I wanted to touch his shoulders, this injury I implored. Woman! Woman! Bitch! Chair made ??a little mud of a man's side! Piece of man! Damn!

Effective action is always unjust.

If we do not conduct ourselves quite well, it's because we have, at all, a little vague notion of duty to the bottom of this mess that we did not have the courage to lead us all completely wrong.

Listen, my friend, there are two races of beings. The masses teeming and happy --common clay, if you like --eating, breeding, working, counting their pennies; people who just live; ordinary people; people you can't imagine dead. And then there are the others --the noble ones, the heroes. The ones you can quite well imagine lying shot, pale and tragic; one minute triumphant with a guard of honor, and the next being marched away between two gendarmes.

An ugly sight, a man who is afraid.

Every kind of stillness. The hush when the executioner's ax goes up at the end of the last act. The unbreathable silence when, at the beginning of the play, the two lovers, their hearts bared, their bodies naked, stand for the first time face to face in the darkened room, afraid to stir. The silence inside you when the roaring crowd acclaims the winner?so that you think of a film without a sound track, mouths agape and no sound coming out of them, a clamor that is not more than picture; and you, the victor, already vanquished, alone in the desert of your silence. That is tragedy.

If you think I'm dressing up as your ecclesiastical secretary like the last time, it's a no go. I'm not wearing a cassock in this heat.

Author Picture
First Name
Jean
Last Name
Anouilh, fully Jean Marie Lucien Pierre Anouilh
Birth Date
1910
Death Date
1987
Bio

French Dramatist best known for his play Antigone