Jean Cocteau Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Jean Cocteau. Here they are! All 100 of them:

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Living is a horizontal fall.
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Jean Cocteau (Opium: The Diary of His Cure)
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I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.
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Jean Cocteau
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Mirrors should think longer before they reflect.
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Jean Cocteau
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What the public criticizes in you, cultivate. It is you.
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Jean Cocteau
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If a poet has a dream, it is not of becoming famous, but of being believed.
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Jean Cocteau
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The prettiest dresses are worn to be taken off.
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Jean Cocteau
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Be yourself. The world worships the original.
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Jean Cocteau
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There's no such thing as love; only proof of love.
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Jean Cocteau
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Art is science made clear.
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Jean Cocteau
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The poet doesn't invent. He listens.
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Jean Cocteau
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The day of my birth, my death began its walk. It is walking toward me, without hurrying.
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Jean Cocteau
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We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?
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Jean Cocteau
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I am a lie that always speaks the truth.
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Jean Cocteau
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An artist cannot speak about his art anymore than a plant can discuss horticulture.
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Jean Cocteau
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I've always preferred mythology to history. History is truth that becomes an illusion. Mythology is an illusion that becomes reality.
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Jean Cocteau
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I am burning myself up and will always do so.
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Jean Cocteau
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Art is a marriage of the conscious and the unconscious.
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Jean Cocteau
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What uniform can I wear to hide my heavy heart? It is too heavy. It will always show. Jacques felt himself growing gloomy again. He was well aware that to live on earth a man must follow its fashions, and hearts were no longer worn.
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Jean Cocteau (Le Grand Ecart / Thomas L'Imposteur / Les Enfants Terribles / Le fantome de (Oeuvres Completes de Jean Cocteau, volume 1))
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Listen carefully to first criticisms made of your work. Note just what it is about your work that critics don't like - then cultivate it. That's the only part of your work that's individual and worth keeping.
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Jean Cocteau
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It is excruciating to be an unbeliever with a spirit that is deeply religious.
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Jean Cocteau
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When I write, I disturb. When I show a film, I disturb. When I exhibit my painting, I disturb, and I disturb if I don't. I have a knack for disturbing.
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Jean Cocteau
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All spiritual journeys are martyrdoms
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Jean Cocteau
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A little too much is just enough for me.
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Jean Cocteau
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One of the characteristics of the dream is that nothing surprises us in it. With no regret, we agree to live in it with strangers, completely cut off from our habits and friends.
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Jean Cocteau
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Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.
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Jean Cocteau
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I'm not willing just to be tolerated. That wounds my love of love and of liberty.
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Jean Cocteau (The White Book (Le Livre Blanc))
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The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary out of order.
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Jean Cocteau (Le Potomak)
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A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses.
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Jean Cocteau
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At all costs the true world of childhood must prevail, must be restored; that world whose momentous, heroic, mysterious quality is fed on airy nothings, whose substance is so ill-fitted to withstand the brutal touch of adult inquisition.
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Jean Cocteau (The Holy Terrors)
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The smell of opium is the least stupid smell in the world.
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Jean Cocteau
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An original artist is unable to copy. So he has only to copy in order to be original.
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Jean Cocteau
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Victor Hugo was a madman who thought he was Victor Hugo
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Jean Cocteau
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Lack of manners is the sign of a hero.
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Jean Cocteau (Opium: The Diary of His Cure)
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Statues to great men are made of the stones thrown at them in their lifetime.
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Jean Cocteau
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There is an angel inside me whom I am constantly shocking.
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Jean Cocteau
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one should always talk well about oneself! The word spreads around and in the end, noone remembers where it started
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Jean Cocteau
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We are in a period of such individualism that one no longer speaks of disciples; one speaks of thieves.
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Jean Cocteau (Opium: The Diary of His Cure)
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I only fear the death of others. For me, true death is that of the people I love
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Jean Cocteau
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What uniform can I wear to hide my heavy heart? It is too heavy. It will always show.
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Jean Cocteau (Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel)
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A man's truest self realizations might require him, above all, to learn to close his eyes: to let himself be taken unawares, to follow his dark angel, to risk his illegal instincts.
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Jean Cocteau
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Without opium, plans, marriages and journeys appear to me just as foolish as if someone falling out of a window were to hope to make friends with the occupants of the room before which he passes.
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Jean Cocteau (Opium: The Diary of His Cure)
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Every poem is a coat of arms. It must be deciphered. How much blood, how many tears in exchange for these axes, these muzzles, these unicorns, these torches, these towers, these martlets, these seedlings of stars and these fields of blue!
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Jean Cocteau
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True realism consists in revealing the surprising things which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing.
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Jean Cocteau
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Mystery has its own mysteries, and there are gods above gods. We have ours, they have theirs. That is what's known as infinity.
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Jean Cocteau
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All good music resembles something. Good music stirs by its mysterious resemblance to the objects and feelings which motivated it.
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Jean Cocteau
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Vivre est une chute horizontale
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Jean Cocteau
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Watch yourself all your life in a mirror and you'll see Death at work like bees in a glass hive.
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Jean Cocteau
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I succeeded in bewitching a fair number and in being intoxicated with my mistakes.
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Jean Cocteau (The Difficulty of Being)
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May the devil himself splatter you with dung.
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Jean Cocteau (Cocteau: 3 Screenplays)
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I believe in luck: how else can you explain the success of those you don't like?
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Jean Cocteau
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Catastrophe, riots, factories blowing up, armies in flight, flood - the ear can detect a whole apocalypse in the starry night of the human body.
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Jean Cocteau
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Il n'y a pas d'amour, il n'y a que des preuves d'amour.
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Jean Cocteau
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No se debe confundir la verdad con la opinión de la mayoría.
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Jean Cocteau
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Les miroirs feraient bien de réfléchir un peu plus avant de renvoyer les images.
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Jean Cocteau
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The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.
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Jean Cocteau
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The worst tragedy for a poet is to be admired through being misunderstood.
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Jean Cocteau
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Emotion resulting from a work of art is only of value when it is not obtained by sentimental blackmail.
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Jean Cocteau
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« From Jean Cocteau to Jean Marais, 1939: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for having saved me. I was drowning and you threw yourself into the water without hesitation, without a backward look. » Casey McQuiston. « Red, White & Royal Blue. » Apple Books.
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Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
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Poetry, being elegance itself, cannot hope to achieve visibility. It insists on living its own life.
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Jean Cocteau
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The poet, by composing poems, uses a language that is neither dead nor living, that few people speak, and few people understand … We are the servants of an unknown force that lives within us, manipulates us, and dictates this language to us.
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Jean Cocteau
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The world owes its enchantment to these curious creatures and their fancies; but its multiple complicity rejects them. Thistledown spirits, tragic, heartrending in their evanescence, they must go blowing headlong to perdition.
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Jean Cocteau (The Holy Terrors)
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In two weeks, despite these notes, I shall no longer believe in what I am experiencing now. One must leave behind a trace of this journey which memory forgets. One must, when this is impossible, write or draw without responding to the romantic solicitations of pain, without enjoying suffering like music, tieing a pen to one's foot if need be, helping the doctors who can learn nothing from laziness.
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Jean Cocteau (Opium: The Diary of His Cure)
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It is excruciating to be an unbeliever with a spirit that is deeply religious... Poetry is a religion without hope.
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Jean Cocteau
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Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.
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Jean Cocteau
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The map of our life is folded in such a way that we cannot see one main road across it, but as it is opened out, we are constantly seeing new side roads. We think we are choosing, and we have no choice.
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Jean Cocteau (Μονόπρακτα: Η ανθρώπινη φωνή-Το φάντασμα της Μασσαλίας-Η ψεύτρα-Την έχασα)
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It is dangerous not to conform with people's image of us, because they do not readily retract their opinions.
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Jean Cocteau (The Difficulty of Being)
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Le cinéma, c'est l'écriture moderne dont l'encre est la lumière.
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Jean Cocteau
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Youth can only assert itself through the conviction that its ventures surpass all others and resemble nothing.
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Jean Cocteau (The Difficulty of Being)
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From Jean Cocteau to Jean Marais, 1939: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for having saved me. I was drowning and you threw yourself into the water without hesitation, without a backward look.
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Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
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When we awake it is the animal, the plant, that thinks in us. Primitive thought without the least disguise. We see a terrible universe, because we see clearly. A little later, intelligence introduces its impeding contrivances. It brings the little toys which man invents in order to hide the void. It is then that we think we are seeing clearly. We attribute our uneasiness to the miasmas of the brain as it passes from dream to reality.
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Jean Cocteau
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À force de ne jamais réfléchir, on a un bonheur stupide.
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Jean Cocteau
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We shelter an angel within us. We must be the guardians of that angel.
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Jean Cocteau
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La mode, c'est ce qui se démode.
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Jean Cocteau
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We only serve as a model to the portrait of our fame
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Jean Cocteau
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What uniform can I wear to hide my heavy heart? It is too heavy. It will always show
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Jean Cocteau
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He who is affected by an insult is infected by it.
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Jean Cocteau
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A film is a petrified fountain of thought.
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Jean Cocteau (The Art of Cinema)
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There are truths which one can only say after having won the right to say them.
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Jean Cocteau
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When I make a film, it is a sleep in which I am dreaming.
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Jean Cocteau
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I grant you that, if you'll admit, as I do, that we are pawns of an unknown force that lives within us that dictates our actions and compels us to speak this language.
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Jean Cocteau
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Imitate, and what is personal will eventually come despite yourself.
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Jean Cocteau
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Die meisten Menschen leben in den Ruinen ihrer Gewohnheiten.
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Jean Cocteau
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En France, on a d'abord considéré la bonté comme une forme de la bêtise, la méchanceté comme une forme de l'intelligence. Maintenant la politesse est considérée comme du temps perdu.
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Jean Cocteau (Beauty and the Beast: Diary of a Film)
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You’ve never seen death? Look in the mirror every day and you will see it like bees working in a glass hive.
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Jean Cocteau
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The purity of a revolution can last a fortnight. That is why a poet, the revolutionary of the soul, limits himself to the about-turns of the mind.
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Jean Cocteau
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The obstinate miner of the void exploits his fertile mine
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Jean Cocteau (Le Cap de Bonne-Espérance suivi de Discours du Grand Sommeil)
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A picture neither saddening nor gladdening I fear; neither beautiful nor ugly.
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Jean Cocteau
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Everything one does in life, even love, occurs in an express train racing toward death. To smoke opium is to get out of the train while it is still moving. It is to concern oneself with something other than life or death.
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Jean Cocteau (Opium: The Diary of His Cure)
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A child's reaction to this type of calamity is twofold and extreme. Not knowing how deeply, powerfully, life drops anchor into its vast sources of recuperation, he is bound to envisage, at once, the very worst; yet at the same time, because of his inability to imagine death, the worst remains totally unreal to him. Gerard went on repeating: "Paul's dying; Paul's going to die"' but he did not believe it. Paul's death would be part of the dream, a dream of snow, of journeying forever.
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Jean Cocteau (The Holy Terrors)
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Tu dis que tu aimes les fleurs et tu leur coupes la queue, tu dis que tu aimes les chiens et tu leur mets une laisse, tu dis que tu aimes les oiseaux et tu les mets en cage, tu dis que tu m’aimes alors moi j’ai peur.
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Jean Cocteau
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I constantly regretted having to cut out bits of intense poetry. But one mustn't, at any cost, be seduced by an attractive idea if it hasn't got its right place.
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Jean Cocteau (Beauty and the Beast: Diary of a Film)
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J'aime les chats parce que j'aime ma maison. Et qu'ils en deviennent peu à peu l'âme visible.
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Jean Cocteau
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Poetry is a machine that manufactures love. Its other virtues escape me.
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Jean Cocteau (Art & Faith)
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Writing is an act of love. If it is not it is only handwriting. It consists in obeying the driving force of plants and trees and in broadcasting sperm far around us. The richness of the world is in its wastefulness.
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Jean Cocteau (The Difficulty of Being)
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J'exige un vrai bonheur, un vrai amour, une vraie contrée où le soleil alterne avec la lune, où les saisons se déroulent en ordre, où de vrais arbres portent de vrais fruits, où de vrais poissons habitent les rivières, et de vrais oiseaux le ciel, où la vrai neige découvre de vraies fleurs, où tout sort est vrai, vrai, véritable. J’en ai assez de cette lumière morne, de ces campagnes stériles, sans jour, sans nuit, où ne survivent que les bêtes féroces et rapaces, où les lois de la nature ne fonctionnent pas.
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Jean Cocteau
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Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal… unnable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort, the trifling feeling of escape experienced at a masked ball. He distances himself from that which he feels and sees. He invents. He transfigures. He mythifies. He creates. He fancies himself an artist. He imitates, in his small way, the painters he claims are mad.
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Jean Cocteau
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It is in this way that a war is disastrous. If it does not kill, it transmits to some an energy alien to their own resources; to others it permits what the law forbids and accustoms them to short cuts. It artificially glorifies ingenuity, pity, daring. A whole younger generation believes itself to be sublime and collapses when it has to draw on itself for patriotism and fate.
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Jean Cocteau (The Difficulty of Being)
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To be moved confuses the soul. One cannot convey these kinds of memories any more than the events of a dream... ...if I have complained too long, it is because my memory, no longer having any fixed abode, has to carry its luggage with it.
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Jean Cocteau (The Difficulty of Being)
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My hair has always grown in all directions and my teeth too and my beard. My nerves and my soul must surely grow in the same way. That is what makes me incomprehensible to those who grow all in one direction and are incapable of imagining a hay-stack. It is this that baffles those who could rid me of this legendary leprosy. They do not know how to take me. This organic disorder is a safeguard for me because it keeps the thoughtless at distance. I also get certain advantages from it. It gives me diversity, contrast, a quickness in leaning to one side or the other as this or that object invites me, and in regaining my balance.
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Jean Cocteau (The Difficulty of Being)
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Last night I suffered so much that there was nothing but my pain to distract me from my pain. I had to make it my sole diversion and with good reason. It had thus decreed. It attacked at every point. Then it distributed its troops. It encamped. It so manoeuvred that it was no longer intolerable at any one of its positions, but tolerable at them all. That is to say that the intolerable being distributed, it was this no longer, except as a whole. It was something both tolerable and intolerable. The organ that breaks down and the final chord that goes on for ever.
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Jean Cocteau (The Difficulty of Being)