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Quotes of the day: Jean Anouilh

Published Monday, June 22, 2015 @ 1:29 PM EDT
Jun 22 2015

Jean Marie Lucien Pierre Anouilh (June 23, 1910 – October 3, 1987) was a French dramatist whose career spanned five decades. Though his work ranged from high drama to absurdist farce, Anouilh is best known for his 1943 play Antigone, an adaptation of Sophocles' classical drama, that was seen as an attack on Marshal Pétain's Vichy government. One of France's most prolific writers after World War II, much of Anouilh's work deals with themes of maintaining integrity in a world of moral compromise. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A genius knows how to make himself easily understood without being obvious about it.

A good actor must never be in love with anyone but himself.

All evil comes from the old. They grow fat on ideas and young men die of them.

An ugly sight, a man who is afraid.

Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute! Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Only engage, and then the mind grows heated. Begin, and then the work will be completed.

Effective action is always unjust.

God is on everyone's side... and in the last analysis, he is on the side with plenty of money and large armies.

Have you noticed that life, with murders and catastrophes and fabulous inheritances, happens almost exclusively in newspapers?

I like reality. It tastes like bread.

Inspiration is a farce that poets have invented to give themselves importance.

It takes a certain courage and a certain greatness to be truly base.

Life has a way of setting things in order and leaving them be. Very tidy, is life.

Life is a wonderful thing to talk about, or to read about in history books - but it is terrible when one has to live it.

Life is very nice, but it lacks form. It's the aim of art to give it some.

Love is, above all, the gift of oneself.

Men create real miracles when they use their God-given courage and intelligence.

Nothing is irreparable in politics.

Oh, love is real enough; you will find it someday, but it has one archenemy- and that is life.

One cannot weep for the entire world, it is beyond human strength. One must choose.

Our entire life- consists ultimately in accepting ourselves as we are.

Propaganda is a soft weapon; hold it in your hands too long, and it will move about like a snake, and strike the other way.

Some men like to make a little garden out of life and walk down a path.

Talent is like a faucet, while it is open, one must write.

The only immorality is not to do what one has to do when one has to do it.

There is love of course. And then there's life, its enemy.

Things are beautiful if you love them.

To say yes, you have to sweat and roll up your sleeves and plunge both hands into life up to the elbows. It is easy to say no, even if saying no means death.

Tragedy is restful: and the reason is that hope, that foul, deceitful thing, has no part in it.

Until the day of his death, no man can be sure of his courage.

We poison our lives with fear of burglary and shipwreck, and, ask anyone, the house is never burgled, and the ship never goes down.

What fun it would be to be poor, as long as one was excessively poor! Anything in excess is most exhilarating.

What you get free costs too much.

When you are forty, half of you belongs to the past... And when you are seventy, nearly all of you.


(June 23 is also the birthday of Alan Turing and Joss Whedon.)

Categories: Jean Anouilh, Question of the day


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