When someone that you love dies..it's like fireworks suddenly burning out in the sky and everything going black.

— Muriel Barbery

The most belligerent Muriel Barbery quotes that are free to learn and impress others

Madame Michel has the elegance of the hedgehog: on the outside she is covered in quills, a real fortress, but my gut feeling is that on the inside, she has the same simple refinement as the hedgehog: a deceptively indolent little creature, fiercely solitary--and terrible elegant.

72

People aim for the stars, and they end up like goldfish in a bowl.

I wonder if it wouldn't be simpler just to teach children right from the start that life is absurd.

48

There's so much humanity in a love of trees, so much nostalgia for our first sense of wonder, so much power in just feeling our own insignificance when we are surrounded by nature.

42

That's what the future is for: to build the present, with real plans, made by living people.

23

...we have to surpass ourselves every day, make every day undying. Climb our own personal Everest and do it in such a way that every step is a little bit of eternity. That's what the future is for: to build the present, with real plans, made by living people.

18

We think we can make honey without sharing in the fate of bees, but we are in truth nothing but poor bees, destined to accomplish our task and then die.

17

With the exception of love, friendship and the beauty of Art, I don't see much else that can nurture human life.

17

I thought: pity the poor in spirit who know neither the enchantment nor the beauty of language.

17

The real ordeal is not leaving those you love but learning to live without those who don't love you.

16

The raw tomato, devoured in the garden when freshly picked, is a horn of abundance of simple sensations, a radiating rush in one's mouth that brings with it every pleasure. . . . a tomato, an adventure.

13

When tea becomes ritual, it takes place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things.

13

Civilization is the mastery of violence, the triumph, constantly challenged, over the aggressive nature of the primate. For primates we have been and primates we shall remain, however often we learn to find joy in a camellia on moss. This is the very purpose of education.

9

About Muriel Barbery

Quotes 98 sayings
Profession Novelist
Birthday May 28, 1969

...I am an anomaly in the system, living proof of how grotesque it is, and every day I mock it gently, deep within my impenetrable self.

7

Sashimi is velvet dust, verging on silk, or a bit of both, and the extraordinary alchemy of its gossamer essence allows it to preserve a milky density unknown even by clouds.... my cheeks recalled the effects of its profound caress.

7

People think that children don't know anything.

It's enough to make you wonder if grownups were ever children once upon a time.

5

A man who farts in bed . . . is a man who loves life.

5

What is writing, no matter how lavish the pieces, if it says nothing of the truth, cares little for the heart, and is merely subservient to the pleasure of showing one's brilliance.

4

If you have but one friend, make sure you choose her well.

4

When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?

3

Beautiful things should belong to beautiful souls.

3

When something is bothering me, I seek refuge.

No need to travel far; a trip to the realm of literary memory will suffice. For where can one find more noble distraction, more entertaining company, more delightful enchantment than in literature?

3

..if you dread tomorrow, it's because you don't know how to build the present, you tell yourself you can deal with it tomorrow, and it's a lost cause anyway because tomorrow always ends up becoming today, don't you see?

3

Because beauty consists of its own passing, just as we reach for it.

It's the ephemeral configuration of things in the moment, when you can see both their beauty and their death.

3

We don't recognize each other because other people have become our permanent mirrors. If we actually realized this, if we were able to become aware of the fact that we are only ever looking at ourselves in the other person, that we are alone in the wilderness, we would go crazy.

3

It would be so much better if we could share our insecurity, if we could all venture inside ourselves and realize that green beans and vitamin C, however much they nurture us, cannot save lives, or sustain our souls.

3

Just as teardrops, when they are large and round and compassionate, can leave a long strand washed clean of discord, the summer rain as it washes away the motionless dust can bring to a person's soul something like endless breathing.

3

If you want to heal Heal others And smile or weep At this very happy reversal of fate

2

Pastries . . . can only be appreciated to the full extent of their subtlety when they are not eaten to assuage our hunger, when the orgy of their sugary sweetness is not destined to full some primary need but to coat our palate with all the benevolence of the world.

2

I witness the birth on paper of sentences that have eluded my will and appear in spite of me on the sheet, teaching me something that I neither knew nor thought I might want to know. This painless birth, like an unsolicited proof, gives me untold pleasure, and with neither toil nor certainty but the joy of frank astonishment I follow the pen that is guiding and supporting me.

0

So if there is something on the planet that is worth living for, I'd better not miss it, because once you're dead, it's too late for regrets, and if you die by mistake, that is really, really dumb.

0

... they have never seen you ... I would recognize you anywhere.

0

Some people are incapable of perceiving in the object of their contemplation the very thing that gives it its intrinsic life and breath, and they spend their entire lives conversing about mankind as if they were robots, and about things as though they have no soul and must be reduced to what can be said about them - all at the whim of their own subjective inspiration.

0

Poverty is a reaper: it harvests everything inside us that might have made us capable of social intercourse with others, and leaves us empty, purged of feeling, so that we may endure all the darkness of the present day.

0

Art is emotion without desire.

0

boredom was born on a day of uniformity.

0

We never look beyond our assumptions and what's worse, we have given up trying to meet others; we just meet ourselves.

0

To beauty, all is forgiven, even vulgarity.

Intelligence no longer seems an adequate compensation for things.

0

Yes, our eyes may perceive, yet they do not observe;

they may believe, yet they do not question; they may receive yet they do not search: they are emptied of desire, with neither hunger nor passion.

0

Live or die: mere consequences of what you have built. What matters is building well.

0

Music plays a huge role in my life. It is music that helps me to endure ... well ... everything there is to endure.

0

Moments like this act as magical interludes, placing our hearts at the edge of our souls: fleetingly, yet intensely, a fragment of eternity has come to enrich time...When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things.

0

As far as I can see, only psychoanalysis can compete with Christians in their love of drawn-out suffering.

0

I won't get any better by punishing the people I can't heal.

0

This pause in time, within time ... When did I first experience the exquisite sense of surrender that is only possible with another person? The peace of mind one experiences on one's own, one's certainty of self in the serenity of solitude, are nothing in comparison to the release and openness and fluency one shares with another, in close companionship.

0

To be poor, ugly and, moreover, intelligent condemns one in our society to a dark and disillusioned life...to beauty all is forgiven.

0

Conclusion: better to be a thinking monk than a postmodern thinker.

0

I find this a fascinating phenomenon: the ability we have to manipulate ourselves so that the foundation of our beliefs is never shaken.

0

Personally I think that grammar is a way to attain Beauty.

When you speak, or read, or write, you can tell if you've spoken or read or written a fine sentence. You can recognise a well-tuned phrase or an elegant style. But when you are applying the rules of grammar skilfully, you ascend to another level of the beauty of language. When you use grammar you peel back the layers, to see how it is all put together, to see it quite naked, in a way.

0

What makes the strength of a soldier isn't the energy he uses trying to intimidate the other guy by sending him a whole lot of signals, it's the strength he's able to concentrate within himself, by staying centered.

0