Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Jean Cocteau

French Poet, Novelist, Playwright, Essayist, Film Writer

"A prig always finds a last refuge in responsibility."

"Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images."

"Art-for art's sake (and) art-for-people's sake are equally ridiculous. I suggest art for God's sake."

"Art is science made clear."

"Art produces ugly things which frequently become beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which have always become ugly with time."

"History is a combination of reality and lies. The reality of History becomes a lie. The unreality of the fable becomes the truth."

"The worst fate for a poet is to be admired without being understood."

"All good music resembles something. Good music stirs by its mysterious resemblance to the objects and feelings which motivated it. "

"Art is a marriage of the conscious and the unconscious. "

"Art is not a pastime but a priesthood."

"Style is a simple way of saying complicated things. "

"Silence moves faster when it's going backward. "

"The extreme limit of wisdom, that's what the public calls madness. "

"The poet never asks for admiration; he wants to be believed. "