Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

José Bergamin, fully José Bergamín Gutiérrez

Spanish Writer, Essayist, Poet and Playwright

"A belief which leaves no place for doubt is not a belief; it is a superstition."

"A piece of advice always contains an implicit threat, just as a threat always contains an implicit piece of advice. "

"Happiness is always a coincidence. "

"Do we have to talk in order to agree or agree in order to talk? "

"It may be impossible to have a revolution without crimes but that does not make revolution a crime. "

"Only one thing has to matter for everything to matter. "

"There are no good or bad habits. All habits are, by definition, bad."

"The man who spends all his time looking up to heaven is not always the best; in fact, he is usually the worst. "

"Who learns most from a good book is the author. "

"When there is nothing to fear is the time to begin fearing everything."

"Tradition simply means that we need to end what began well and continue what is worth continuing."

"To light one candle to God and another to the Devil is the principle of wisdom."

"To be ready to fail is to be prepared for success. "

"What is reasoned has nothing to do with what is reasonable."

"Try not to turn your life into a race, least of all an obstacle race."

"A German immersed in any civilization different from his own loses a weight equivalent in volume to the amount of intelligence he displaces."

"A reformer knows neither how to do nor to undo."

"A rocket is a reed that thinks brilliantly."

"Better than succeeding little by little is failing at one go."

"A woman who does not become the slave of just one man becomes the slave of all men."

"Art is good but it isn't the best."

"Erik Satie does not say the opposite of Debussy; he says the same thing only the other way round."

"An ignorance of Marx is as frequent among Marxists as an ignorance of Christ is among Catholics."

"All true tradition usually appears revolutionary."

"A rocket is an experiment; a star is an observation."

"Even if you're not going anywhere, don't get in the way."

"Effort and result are never simultaneous. In art, only the result counts."

"Drinking spirits cannot cause spiritual damage."

"If you really believe music is dangerous, you should let it go in one ear and out the other."

"In love, it is the weak who strike and the strong who cares."

"I fear only that which I love, says man, according to Montaigne. Woman replies: I love only that which I fear."

"Life is a dangerous adventure, says the American, and he is half right: life is dangerous, but it's not an adventure."

"In French literature, you can choose a la carte; in Spanish literature, there is only the set meal."

"Man is a question; woman is an answer. The mistake women make today is to offer themselves as answers before being questioned."

"Ignorance is learned; innocence is forgotten."

"Morality measured in centimeters: all mothers believe that only their daughters dance decently."

"Pride in a man is confused with dignity; in a woman, with self-love."

"Sensuality without love is a sin; love without sensuality is worse than a sin."

"The man who gets drunk in peacetime is a coward. The man who gets drunk in wartime goes on being a coward."

"The first condition for making music is not to make a noise."

"The quality of a man's mind can generally be judged by the size of his wastepaper basket."

"The most original sin is not the thinker's but the poet's."

"The barometer that shows "variable" is an ironic indictment of God."

"The novel is born of disillusionment; the poem, of despair."

"The only time a man thinks is when he's alone."

"There are those who dance to the rhythm that is played to them, those who only dance to their own rhythm, and those who don't dance at all."

"The thirst for adventure is the vent which Destiny offers; a war, a crusade, a gold mine, a new country, speak to the imagination and offer..."

"Theology is the logic of the Devil."

"Those who are scandalized by a naked body--thinks the Devil--are easy prey: they are already doomed."

"To be thirsty and to drink water is the perfection of sensuality rarely achieved. Sometimes you drink water; other times you are thirsty."