Famous Quotes By Gustave Flaubert


  1. A friend who dies, it's something of you who dies.
  2. All one's inventions are true, you can be sure of that. Poetry is as exact a science as geometry.
  3. Art requires neither complaisance nor politeness nothing but faith, faith and freedom.
  4. Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.
  5. Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.
  6. Caught up in life, you see it badly. You suffer from it or enjoy it too much. The artist, in my opinion, is a monstrosity, something outside of nature.
  7. Everything one invents is true, you may be perfectly sure of that. Poetry is as precise as geometry.
  8. Happiness is a monstrosity! Punished are those who seek it.
  9. Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.
  10. I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings.
  11. I have the handicap of being born with a special language to which I alone have the key.
  12. I love my work with a frenetic and perverse love, as an ascetic loves the hair shirt which scratches his belly.
  13. Life must be a constant education one must learn everything, from speaking to dying.
  14. Love is a springtime plant that perfumes everything with its hope, even the ruins to which it clings.
  15. Of all lies, art is the least untrue.
  16. Oh, if I had been loved at the age of seventeen, what an idiot I would be today. Happiness is like smallpox: if you catch it too soon, it can completely ruin your constitution.
  17. One must always hope when one is desperate, and doubt when one hopes.
  18. One mustn't ask apple trees for oranges, France for sun, women for love, life for happiness.
  19. Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times.
  20. Poetry is as precise a thing as geometry.
  21. Stupidity is something unshakable nothing attacks it without breaking itself against it it is of the nature of granite, hard and resistant.
  22. Success is a consequence and must not be a goal.
  23. The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
  24. The artist must be in his work as God is in creation, invisible and all-powerful one must sense him everywhere but never see him.
  25. The better a work is, the more it attracts criticism it is like the fleas who rush to jump on white linens.
  26. The cult of art gives pride one never has too much of it.
  27. The future is the worst thing about the present.
  28. The heart, like the stomach, wants a varied diet.
  29. The most glorious moments in your life are not the so-called days of success, but rather those days when out of dejection and despair you feel rise in you a challenge to life, and the promise of future accomplishments.
  30. The only way to avoid being unhappy is to close yourself up in Art and to count for nothing all the rest.
  31. The true poet for me is a priest. As soon as he dons the cassock, he must leave his family.
  32. There are neither good nor bad subjects. From the point of view of pure Art, you could almost establish it as an axiom that the subject is irrelevant, style itself being an absolute manner of seeing things.
  33. There is no truth. There is only perception.
  34. To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.
  35. You can calculate the worth of a man by the number of his enemies, and the importance of a work of art by the harm that is spoken of it.

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