Théophile Gautier, fully Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier, aka Le Bon Theo

Gautier, fully Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier, aka Le Bon Theo

French Poet, Novelist, Art and Literary Critic, and Dramatist

Author Quotes

Any man who does not have his inner world to translate is not an artist.

I have often been charged with falsehood and hypocrisy, yet there lives not the man who would more gladly than I speak truthfully and lay bare his heart; but as I have not one idea, one feeling in common with the people who surround me, as the very first word I should speak truthfully would cause a general hue and cry, I have preferred to keep silent, or, if I do speak, to utter only stupid commonplaces which everyone has agreed to believe in.

Sooner barbarity than boredom.

What well-bred woman would refuse her heart to a man who had just saved her life? Not one; and gratitude is a short cut which speedily leads to love.

Art is beauty, the perpetual invention of detail, the choice of words, the exquisite care of execution.

I love the crazy dreams that tames cruelty.

The arts teach and moralize by their beauty alone, not by translating a philosophical or social formula. For the truly artistic person, painting has itself as its purpose, which is quite enough.

Whatever may have been said of the satiety of pleasure and of the disgust which usually follows passion, any man who has anything of a heart and who is not wretchedly and hopelessly blasé feels his love increased by his happiness, and very often the best way to retain a lover ready to leave is to give one's self up to him without reserve.

Ask the poetry of sentimentalism ... this is not it. Radiant words, words of light ... with a rhythm and music, that's what it is poetry.

I seemed to hear these words at a rate of infinite sweetness, because his eyes had almost the tone, and phrases that sent me his eyes echoed in my heart as if an invisible mouth had blown in my soul.

The cat is a dilettante in fur.

White men should exhibit the same insensibility to moral tortures that red men do to physical torments.

Books follow morals, and not morals books.

I was born to travel and write verse.

The critic serves up his erudition in strong doses; he pours out all the knowledge he got up the day before in some library or other, and treats in heathenish fashion people at whose feet he ought to sit, and the most ignorant of whom could give points to much wiser men than he. Authors bear this sort of thing with a magnanimity and a patience that are really incomprehensible. For, after all, who are those critics, who with their trenchant tone, their dicta, might be supposed sons of the gods? They are simply fellows who were at college with us, and who have turned their studies to less account, since they have not produced anything, and can do no more than soil and spoil the works of others, like true stymphalid vampires.

Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes!

Brevity never fatigues; therefore, brevity is always a welcome guest.

If thou wilt be mine, I shall make thee happier than God Himself in His paradise. The angels themselves will be jealous of thee. Tear off that funeral shroud in which thou about to wrap thyself. I am Beauty, I am Youth, I am Life. Come to me! Together we shall be Love.

The famous courtesan Clarimonde died recently, as the result of an orgy which lasted eight days and eight nights. It was something infernally magnificent. They revived the abominations of the feasts of Belshazzar and Cleopatra. Great God! what an age this is in which we live! The guests were served by swarthy slaves speaking an unknown tongue, who to my mind had every appearance of veritable demons; the livery of the meanest among them might have served as a gala-costume for an emperor. There have always been current some very strange stories concerning this Clarimonde, and all her lovers have come to a miserable or a violent end. It has been said that she was a ghoul, a female vampire; but I believe that she was Beelzebub in person.

With all women gentleness is the most persuasive and powerful argument.

Chance is perhaps the pseudonym of God when he does not want to sign.

If you are worthy of its affection, a cat will be your friend but never your slave.

The public, which has been wrong before and is wrong now, can accept only demons and angels on the stage

Yes, the work comes out more beautiful from a material that resists the process, verse, marble, onyx, or enamel.

Critical lice are like body lice, which desert corpses to seek the living.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Gautier, fully Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier, aka Le Bon Theo
Birth Date
Death Date

French Poet, Novelist, Art and Literary Critic, and Dramatist