Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

André Gide, fully André Paul Guillaume Gide

French Novelist. Humorist, Moralist, Nobel Prize in Literature

"Nothing is good for everyone, but only relatively to some people."

"Our judgments about things vary according to the time left us to live - that we think is left us to live."

"Prejudices are the props of civilization."

"Sadness is almost never anything but a form of fatigue."

"Know thyself! A maxim as pernicious as it is ugly. Whoever observes himself arrests his own development. A caterpillar who wanted to know itself well would never become a butterfly."

"I believe that it is harder still to be just (fair) toward oneself than toward others."

"Great authors are admirable in this respect: in every generation they make for disagreement. Through them we become aware of our differences."

"In the domain of feeling, what is real is indistinguishable from what is imaginary. And if it is sufficient to imagine one loves, in order to love, so it is sufficient to say to oneself that when one loves one imagines one love, in order to love a little less... But if one is able to say such a thing to oneself, must one not already love a little less?"

"Seize from every moment in its unique novelty and do not prepare your joys."

"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, do not write it. Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself - and thus make yourself indispensable."

"The belief that becomes a truth for me... is that which allows me the best use of my strength, the best means of putting my virtues into action."

"An opinion, though it is original, does not necessarily differ from the accepted opinion; the important thing is that it does not try to conform to it."

"Whoever starts out toward the unknown must consent to venture alone."

"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."

"Sin is whatever obscures the soul."

"He who waits for God fails to understand that he possesses Him. Believe that God and happiness are one, and put all your happiness in the present moment."

"Without mysticism man can achieve nothing great."

"Wisdom lies not in reason, but in love."

"It is easier to lead men to combat, stirring up their passion, than to restrain them and direct them toward the patient labors of peace."

"In order to judge properly, one must get away somewhat from what one is judging, after having loved it. This is true of countries, of persons, and of oneself."

"No theory is good except on condition that one use it to go beyond."

"It is essential to persuade the soldier that those he is being urged to massacre are bandits who do not deserve to live; before killing other good, decent fellows like himself, his gun would fall from his hands."

"One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time."

"The belief that becomes truth for me -- is that which allows me the best use of my strength, the best means of putting my virtues into action."

"The important thing is being capable of emotions, but to experience only one's own would be a sorry limitation."

"The greatest intelligence is precisely the one that suffers most from its own limitations."

"The individual never assets himself more than when he forgets himself."

"The scholar seeks, the artist finds."

"The most subtle, the strongest and deepest art - supreme art - is the one that does not first allow itself to be recognized."

"The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity."

"The nationalist has a broad hatred and a narrow love. He cannot stifle a predilection for dead cities."

"The work of art is the exaggeration of an idea."

"There is no prejudice that the work of art does not finally overcome."

"To love the truth is to refuse to let oneself be saddened by it."

"Understanding is the beginning of approving. To negate with conviction one must never have looked at what one negates."

"Man is in process of becoming."

"All choice, when one comes to think of it is terrifying; liberty where there is no duty to guide it, terrifying."

"We call "happiness" a certain set of circumstances that makes joy possible. But we call joy that state of mind and emotions that needs nothing to feel happy."

"A straight path never leads anywhere except to the objective."

"The nationalist has a broad hated and a narrow love."

"It is only when proofs are lacking that people try to impose their opinions."

"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; written as well, do not write it. Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself - and there make yourself indispensable."

"Pay no attention to appearing. Being is alone important."

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

"The true hypocrite is one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity."

"The world will be saved by one or two people."

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

"Dare to be yourself."

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

"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."