We are afraid of the enormity of the possible.
The universal view melts things into a blur.
However much I have frequented the mystics, deep down I have always sided with the Devil; unable to equal him in power, I have tried to be worthy of him, at least, in insolence, acrimony, arbitrariness and caprice.
Insomnia is a vertiginous lucidity that can convert paradise itself into a place of torture.
My mission is to kill time, and time's to kill me in its turn. How comfortable one is among murderers.
Jealousy - that jumble of secret worship and ostensible aversion.
I lost my sleep, and this is the greatest tragedy that can befall someone. It is much worse than sitting in prison.
The capital phenomenon, the most catastrophic disaster, is uninterrupted sleeplessness, that nothingness without release.
One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland - and no other.
Woes and wonders of Power, that tonic hell, synthesis of poison and panacea.
I saw that philosophy had no power to make my life more bearable. Thus I lost my belief in philosophy.
Society is not a disease, it is a disaster. What a stupid miracle that one can live in it.
What would be left of our tragedies if an insect were to present us his?
No one recovers from the disease of being born, a deadly wound if there ever was one.
Consciousness is much more than the thorn, it is the dagger in the flesh.
We would not be interested in human beings if we did not have the hope of someday meeting someone worse off than ourselves.
A golden rule: to leave an incomplete image of oneself.
Speech and silence. We feel safer with a madman who talks than with one who cannot open his mouth.
What surrounds us we endure better for giving it a name - and moving on.
Sperm is a bandit in its pure state.
Since all life is futility, then the decision to exist must be the most irrational of all.
We understand God by everything in ourselves that is fragmentary, incomplete, and inopportune.
Anyone can escape into sleep, we are all geniuses when we dream, the butcher's the poet's equal there.
The fear of being deceived is the vulgar version of the quest for Truth.
Chaos is rejecting all you have learned, chaos is being yourself.
Ennui is the echo in us of time tearing itself apart.
The obsession with suicide is characteristic of the man who can neither live nor die, and whose attention never swerves from this double impossibility.
We die in proportion to the words we fling around us.
Anyone who speaks in the name of others is always an imposter.
One hardly saves a world without ruling it.
Torment, for some men, is a need, an appetite, and an accomplishment.
Revenge is not always sweet, once it is consummated we feel inferior to our victim.
Music is the refuge of souls ulcerated by happiness.
I'm simply an accident. Why take it all so seriously?
So long as man is protected by madness - he functions - and flourishes.
It is because we are all imposters that we endure each other
To want fame is to prefer dying scorned than forgotten.
Negation is the mind's first freedom, yet a negative habit is fruitful only so long as we exert ourselves to overcome it, adapt it to our needs; once acquired it can imprison us.
A marvel that has nothing to offer, democracy is at once a nation's paradise and its tomb.
It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late.
The fanatic is incorruptible: if he kills for an idea, he can just as well get himself killed for one; in either case, tyrant or martyr, he is a monster.
Progress is the injustice each generation commits with regard to its predecessors.
Tolerance - the function of an extinguished ardor - tolerance cannot seduce the young.
What does the future, that half of time, matter to the man who is infatuated with eternity?
I have no nationality - the best possible status for an intellectual.
Each concession we make is accompanied by an inner diminution of which we are not immediately conscious.
We derive our vitality from our store of madness.
Man must vanquish himself, must do himself violence, in order to perform the slightest action untainted by evil.
In every man sleeps a prophet, and when he wakes there is a little more evil in the world.
To act is to anchor in an imminent future, so imminent it becomes almost tangible; to act is to feel you are consubstantial with that future.
Ambition is a drug that makes its addicts potential madmen.
Nothing proves that we are more than nothing.
Man starts over again everyday, in spite of all he knows, against all he knows.
Who Rebels? Who rises in arms? Rarely the slave, but almost always the oppressor turned slave.
You are done for - a living dead man - not when you stop loving but stop hating. Hatred preserves: in it, in its chemistry, resides the mystery of life.
If, at the limit, you can rule without crime, you cannot do so without injustices.
Life creates itself in delirium and is undone in ennui.
Isn't history ultimately the result of our fear of boredom?
The more we try to rest ourselves from our Egos, the deeper we sink into it.
A civilization is destroyed only when its gods are destroyed.
Life inspires more dread than death - it is life which is the great unknown.
The desire to die was my one and only concern; to it I have sacrificed everything, even death.
Truths begin by a conflict with the police - and end by calling them in.
When we cannot be delivered from ourselves, we delight in devouring ourselves.
Impossible to spend sleepless nights and accomplish anything: if, in my youth, my parents had not financed my insomnias, I should surely have killed myself.
A distant enemy is always preferable to one at the gate.
God - a disease we imagine we are cured of because no one dies of it nowadays.
There is no means of proving it is preferable to be than not to be.
For you who no longer posses it, freedom is everything, for us who do, it is merely an illusion.
Life is possible only by the deficiencies of our imagination and memory.
To Live signifies to believe and hope - to lie and to lie to oneself.
We define only out of despair, we must have a formula... to give a facade tot he void.
We interest others by the misfortune we spread around us.
In a republic, that paradise of debility, the politician is a petty tyrant who obeys the laws.
To venture upon an undertaking of any kind, even the most insignificant, is to sacrifice to envy.
Imaginary pains are by far the most real we suffer, since we feel a constant need for them and invent them because there is no way of doing without them.
In order to have the stuff of a tyrant, a certain mental derangement is necessary.
Intelligence flourishes only in the ages when belief withers.
Nothing is so wearing as the possession or abuse of liberty.
The mind is the result of the torments the flesh undergoes or inflicts upon itself.
Great persecutors are recruited among martyrs whose heads haven't been cut off.
A sudden silence in the middle of a conversation suddenly brings us back to essentials: it reveals how dearly we must pay for the invention of speech.
If we could see ourselves as others see us, we would vanish on the spot.
What pride to discover that nothing belongs to you - what a revelation.
By all evidence we are in the world to do nothing.
The fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live - moreover, the only one.
Write books only if you are going to say in them the things you would never dare confide to anyone.
The limit of every pain is an even greater pain.
A people represents not so much an aggregate of ideas and theories as of obsessions.
I foresee the day when we shall read nothing but telegrams and prayers.
To exist is a habit I do not despair of acquiring.
We are born to Exist, not to know, to be, not to assert ourselves.
We inhabit a language rather than a country.
Crime in full glory consolidates authority by the sacred fear it inspires.
Glory — once achieved, what is it worth?
Our works, whatever they may be, derive from our incapacity to kill or to kill ourselves.
The task of the solitary man is to be even more solitary.
Criticism is a misconception: we must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves.
Skepticism is the sadism of embittered souls.
Normal people have nothing to forget.