Louis Aragon quotes:

  • Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash.

  • I demand that my books be judged with utmost severity, by knowledgeable people who know the rules of grammar and of logic, and who will seek beneath the footsteps of my commas the lice of my thought in the head of my style.

  • Love is made by two people, in different kinds of solitude. It can be in a crowd, but in an oblivious crowd.

  • O reason, reason, abstract phantom of the waking state, I had already expelled you from my dreams, now I have reached a point where those dreams are about to become fused with apparent realities: now there is only room here for myself.

  • The authors of book reviews would consider themselves dishonored were they to mention, as they should, the subject of the book.

  • Fear of error which everything recalls to me at every moment of the flight of my ideas, this mania for control, makes men prefer reason's imagination to the imagination of the senses. And yet it is always the imagination alone which is at work.

  • O months of blossoming, months of transfigurations, May without cloud and June stabbed to the heart, I shall not ever forget the lilacs or the roses Nor those the spring has kept folded away apart.

  • We know that the nature of genius is to provide idiots with ideas twenty years later.

  • What on earth is modern exegesis up to? Oh, little lazy one! Some red wine and up! Off you go, brandishing your fork, stripped of Ophelia's useless ornaments, fire in your large nostrils, out to rake the muck of metaphors.

  • And there are loners in rural communities who, at the equinox, are said to don new garments and stroll down to the cities, where great beasts await them, fat and docile.

  • I have no friends, there are only people I love.

  • I demand that my books be judged with utmost severity, by knowledgeable...

  • As if one could do what one wanted with one's own body!

  • The vice named surrealism is the immoderate and impassioned use of the stupefacient image or rather of the uncontrolled provocation of the image for its own sake and for the element of unpredictable perturbation and of metamorphosis which it introduces into the domain of representation; for each image on each occasion forces you to revise the entire Universe.

  • It is time to return to close reading, to a serious and painstaking examination of an author's methods, of his style. Do not be deterred by headaches. First of all, this would be proof of your lack of stamina. And then, migraines, piercing pain and sudden stabs at the temples are more likely the effects of syphilis than of hard work.

  • The carnal contact side by side, from heel to armpit, brings shudders that shake up nature like the flights of nocturnal birds.

  • Geniuses are like ocean liners: they should never meet.

  • Language was not given to man: he seized it.

  • Can the knowledge deriving from reason even begin to compare with knowledge perceptible by sense?

  • Yes, I read. I have that absurd habit. I like beautiful poems, moving poetry, and all the beyond of that poetry. I am extraordinarily sensitive to those poor, marvelous words left in our dark night by a few men I never knew.

  • Photography intervenes in a very strange way. It makes the streets, gates, squares of the city into illustrations of a trashy novel, draws off the banal obviousness of this ancient architecture to inject it with the most pristine intensity...

  • Of all possible sexual perversions, religion is the only one to have ever been scientifically systematized.

  • As [John Heartfield] was playing with the fire of appearance, reality took fire around him... The scraps of photographs that he formerly manoeuvred for the pleasure of stupification, under his fingers began to signify.

  • Error is certainty's constant companion. Error is the corollary of evidence. And anything said about truth may equally well be said about error: the delusion will be no greater.

  • Everything that is not me is incomprehensible.

  • For each man there awaits... a particular image capable of annihilating the entire universe.

  • I must confess that I and a few others are burdened with heavy responsibilities regarding the future of criticism. I am certainly, if not the inventor, then at least one of the first systematizers of an absurd critical practice that, as soon as it had peeked its beak out of the nest, flapping its new wet wings, took flight in the minds of the young, becoming a wild ox and sowing avant-garde literature with the mighty tomes of what might as well be called the abstract bear.

  • I shall always rebel against any attempt to reduce a human being to a kind of mannequin, whose deeds and questions would be comprehensible like the deeds and gestures of monarchs recorded day after day in official communiques. Six months of a life cannot catalogue the vitality, the activity of an individual; only death stops development and then, what is important is the overall meaning of a life, not the details of that life, edifying to some, scandalous to others.

  • In our day there are no longer any ideas, or they are scarcer than hens' teeth.

  • It sometimes happens that pleasure blows anywhere it damn well chooses.

  • Most people have never known solitude.... But there are a few of the other kind who can go back to their rooms anywhere and close the door on the whole world, and feel that they need never emerge.

  • No more painters, no more scribblers, no more musicians, no more sculptors, no more religions, no more royalists, no more radicals, no more imperialists, no more anarchists, no more socialists, no more communists, no more proletariat, no more democrats, no more republicans, no more bourgeois, no more aristocrats, no more arms, no more police, no more nations, an end at last to all this stupidity, nothing left, nothing at all, nothing, nothing.

  • Reality is the apparent absence of contradiction. The marvelous is the eruption of contradiction within the real.

  • The painting of tomorrow will use the photographic eye as it has used the human eye.

  • The rose is born evil ... but it is pink.

  • The whole fauna of human fantasies, their marine vegetation, drifts and luxuriates in the dimly lit zones of human activity, as though plaiting thick tresses of darkness. Here, too, appear the lighthouses of the mind, with their outward resemblance to less pure symbols. The gateway to mystery swings open at the touch of human weakness and we have entered the realms of darkness. One false step, one slurred syllable together reveal a man's thoughts.

  • There are other relations besides reality, which the mind is capable of grasping and which also are primary, like chance, illusion, the fantastic, the dream.

  • There are strange flowers of reason to match each error of the senses.

  • There are strange flowers of reason to match each error of the senses. Admirable gardens of absurd beliefs, forebodings, obsessions and frenzies. Unknown, ever-changing gods take shape there.

  • There exists a black kingdom which the eyes of man avoid because its landscape fails signally to flatter them. This darkness, which he imagines he can dispense with in describing the light, is error with its unknown characteristics. Error is certainty's constant companion. Error is the corollary of evidence. And anything said about truth may equally well be said about error: the delusion will be no greater.

  • Your heart like a hawk-mouth in the sun, your heart like a ship on an atoll, your heart like a compass needle driven mad by a little piece of lead, like washing drying in the wind, like a whining of horses, like seed thrown to the birds, like an evening paper one has finished reading! Your heart is a charade that the whole world has guessed.

  • Your imagination, my dear fellow, is worth more than you imagine.

  • That you are not already golden word in our streets Already memories Your love fades Already Whether you are no longer to have perished.