She was a sweet girl but not really pretty, a rough sketch of a woman with a little of everything in her, one of those silhouettes which artists draw in three strokes on the tablecloth in a café after dinner, between a glass of brandy and a cigarette. Nature sometimes turns out creatures like that.— Guy de Maupassant
The most provocative Guy de Maupassant quotes that will transform you to a better person
Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no longer exist.
Words dazzle and deceive because they are mimed by the face.
But black words on a white page are the soul laid bare.
A sick thought can devour the body's flesh more than fever or consumption.
Of all the passions, the only one that seems respectable to me is the passion for food
There is only one good thing in life, and that is love.
And how you misunderstand it! how you spoil it! You treat it as something solemn like a sacrament, or something to be bought, like a dress.
Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched.
Life is a slope. As long as you're going up you're always looking towards the top and you feel happy, but when you reach it, suddenly you can see the road going downhill and death at the end of it all. It's slow going up and quick going down.
Every government has as much of a duty to avoid war as a ship's captain has to avoid a shipwreck.
I love the night passionately... I love it with all my senses: I love to see it, I love to breathe it in, I love to open my ears to its silence, I love my whole body to be caressed by its blackness.
Great minds that are healthy are never considered geniuses, while this sublime qualification is lavished on brains that are often inferior but are slightly touched by madness.
Abstinence is the worst form of perversion.
...A strange art – music – the most poetic and precise of all the arts, vague as a dream and precise as algebra.
If I could, I would stop the passage of time.
But hour follows on hour, minute on minute, each second robbing me of a morsel of myself for the nothing of tomorrow. I shall never experience this moment again.
I know nothing more enjoyable than that happy-go-lucky wandering life, in which you are perfectly free; without shackles of any kind, without care, without preoccupation, without thought even of to-morrow. You go in any direction you please, without any guide save your fancy.
She was the temptress who had ensnared the first man, and who still continued her work at damnation; she was the being who is feeble, dangerous, mysteriously troubling. And even more than her body of perdition, he hated her loving soul.
A man forced to spend his life without ever having the right, without ever finding the time, to shut himself up all alone, no matter where, to think, to reflect, to work, to dream? Ah! my dear boy, a key, the key of a door which one can lock this is happiness, mark you, the only happiness!
You've never lived until you've almost died.
For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know.
The kiss itself is immortal. It travels from lip to lip, century to century, from age to age. Men and women garner these kisses, offer them to others and then die in turn.
She realized for the first time that two people can never reach each others deepest feelings and instincts, that they spend their lives side by side, linked it may be, but not mingled, and that each one's inmost being must go through life eternally alone.
The great artists are those who impose their personal vision upon humanity.
There is only one good thing in life, and that is love.
I entered literary life as a meteor, and I shall leave it like a thunderbolt.
We breathe, sleep, drink, eat, work and then die! The end of life is death.
What do you long for? Love? A few kisses and you will be powerless. Money? What for? To gratify your desires. Glory? What coems after it all? Death! Death alone is certain.
How weak our mind is; how quickly it is terrified and unbalanced as soon as we are confronted with a small, incomprehensible fact. Instead of dismissing the problem with: "We do not understand because we cannot find the cause," we immediately imagine terrible mysteries and supernatural powers.
History, that excitable and unreliable old lady.
Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all.
Sometimes our thoughts turn back toward a corner in a forest, or the end of a bank, or an orchard powdered with flowers, seen but a single time on some happy day, yet remaining in our hearts and leaving in soul and body an unappeased desire which is not to be forgotten, a feeling that we have just rubbed elbows with happiness.
The bed comprehends our whole life, for we were born in it, we live in it, and we shall die in it
A human being - what is a human being? Everything and nothing.
Through the power of thought it can mirror everything it experiences. Through memory and knowledge it becomes a microcosm, carrying the world within itself. A mirror of things, a mirror of facts. Each human being becomes a little universe within the universe!
To avoid each other, their eyes had developed an amazing mobility with all the cunning of enemies fearful of meeting each other head on.
The public is composed of numerous groups whose cry to us writers is: 'Comfort me.' 'Amuse me.' 'Touch my sympathies.' 'Make me sad.' 'Make me dream.' 'Make me laugh.' 'Make me shiver.' 'Make me weep.' 'Make me think.'
The English have only three sauces - a white one, a brown one and a yellow one, and none of them have any flavor whatever.
The essence of life is the smile of round female bottoms, under the shadow of cosmic boredom.
Champagne... the wine of kings, the king of wines
In the East men know panic, but they do not know what fright is.
Military men are the scourges of the world.
Killing is decreed by law but nature loves eternal youth.
Whatever she does, however unconscious and unfeeling the act, she seems to cry out: 'Quick! Quick! Quick!' And the more she destroys, the more she is renewed.
Ale, not beer, in a pewter mug was comme il faut, the only thing for a gentleman of letters, worthy of the name, to drink.
Love always has its price, come whence it may.
Night was a very different matter. It was dense, thicker than the very walls, and it was empty, so black, so immense that within it you could brush against appalling things and feel roaming and prowling around a strange, mysterious horror.
Legitimized love always despises its easygoing brother.
Broad daylight does not encourage the apprehension of horror.
The glasses were half full, which meant that the guests were completely so
The secret is not to betray your ignorance.
Just maneuver, avoid the quicksands and obstacles, and the rest can be found in a dictionary.
Whether we are describing a king, an assassin, a thief, an honest man, a prostitute, a nun, a young girl, or a stallholder in a market, it is always ourselves that we are describing.
Were a man to spend only one day in Sicily and ask, "What must one see?" I would answer him without hesitation, "Taormina." It is only a landscape, but a landscape where you find everything on earth that seems made to seduce the eyes, the mind and the imagination.
One sometimes weeps over one's illusions with as much bitterness as over a death.
Those men, those of former times, had soul and eyes that in no way resemble ours, and in their veins, along with their blood, flowed something that has disappeared: love and admiration for the Beautiful.
And taking her friend’s hand, she put it on her breast, on that firm round covering of a woman’s heart which the male often finds so satisfying that he makes no attempt to find what lies beneath it.