The really great novel tends to be the exact negative of its author’s life.
An artist must be a reactionary. He has to stand out against the tenor of the age and not go flopping along.
If men could regard the events of their own lives with more open minds, they would frequently discover that they did not really desire the things they failed to obtain.
No one can be profoundly original who does not avoid eccentricity.
If you value a man’s regard, strive with him. As to liking, you like your newspaper – and despise it.
Men and women are not born inconstant: they are made so by their early amorous experiences.
Style is the hallmark of a temperament stamped upon the material at hand.
Lost Illusion is the undisclosed title of every novel.
To be witty is not enough. One must possess sufficient wit to avoid having too much of it.
Modesty and unselfishness – these are the virtues which men praise – and pass by.
The difficult part in an argument is not to defend one’s opinion but rather to know it.
Self-pity comes so naturally to all of us. The most solid happiness can be shaken by the compassion of a fool.
People are what you make them. A scornful look turns into a complete fool a man of average intelligence. A contemptuous indifference turns into an enemy a woman who, well treated, might have been an angel.
Old age is far more than white hair, wrinkles, the feeling that it is too late and the game finished, that the stage belongs to the rising generations. The true evil is not the weakening of the body, but the indifference of the soul.
A marriage without conflicts is almost as inconceivable as a nation without crises.