Francois Mauriac quotes
Birthdate: 11. October 1885
Date of death: 1. September 1970
François Charles Mauriac was a French novelist, dramatist, critic, poet, and journalist, a member of the Académie française , and laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature . He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur in 1958. He was a lifelong Catholic. Wikipedia
Quotes Francois Mauriac
„I remained standing in the middle of the room, swaying on my feet as though I had received a blow. I thought of my life and saw what it had been. No one could swim against such a current of mud. I had been a man so horrible that he could have no friend. But wasn't that, I asked myself, because I had always been incapable of wearing a disguise? If all men went through life with unmasked faces, as I had done for half a century, one might be surprised to find how little difference there was between them. But, in fact, no one lives with his face uncovered, no one. Most men ape greatness or nobility. Though they do not know it, they conform to certain fixed types, literary or other. This the saints know, and they hate and despise themselves because they see themselves with unclouded eyes. I should not have been so universally condemned had I not been so defenseless, so open, and so naked.“
Source: Viper's Tangle
Journal, 1932-1939 (Paris: Table ronde, 1947) p. 278; Adrienne Foulke (trans.) Second Thoughts (Plainview, NY: Books for Libraries Press,  1973) p. 148.
Context: Where does discipline end? Where does cruelty begin? Somewhere between these, thousands of children inhabit a voiceless hell.
„Very little would have been needed for the tears of Judas to be allied in the memory of mankind with those of Peter.“
Vie de Jésus (Paris: Flammarion, 1936) p. 257; Julie Kernan (trans.) Life of Jesus (New York: David McKay,  1951) p. 223.
Context: Very little would have been needed for the tears of Judas to be allied in the memory of mankind with those of Peter. He might have become a saint, the patron of all of us who constantly betray Christ.
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„What makes a poet is, surely, the love of these things, a desperate search for the tiny ray of sunshine which used to flicker on the floor of a child’s bedroom.“
Ce qui fait le poète, n'est-ce pas l'amour, la recherche désespérée du moindre rayon de soleil d'autrefois jouant sur le parquet d'une chambre d'enfant?
Préséances (1921), cited from Oeuvres romanesques, vol.1 (Paris: Flammarion, 1965) p. 301; Gerard Hopkins (trans.) Questions of Precedence (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1958) p. 46.
„The myth of Prometheus means that all the sorrows of the world have their seat in the liver. But it needs a brave man to face so humble a truth.“
Le mythe de Prométhée signifie que toute la tristesse du monde a son siège dans le foie. Mais qui oserait reconnaître une vérité si humble?
Le Nœud de vipères (1932), cited from Oeuvres romanesques, vol. 2 (Paris: Flammarion, 1965) p. 166; Gerard Hopkins (trans.) Knot of Vipers (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1951) p. 151.
„Most men resemble great deserted palaces: the owner occupies only a few rooms and has closed off wings where he never ventures.“
Presque tous les hommes ressemblent à ces grands palais déserts dont le propriétaire n'habite que quelques pièces; et il ne pénètre jamais dans les ailes condamnées.
Journal, 1932-1939 (Paris: Table ronde, 1947) p. 6; Adrienne Foulke (trans.) Second Thoughts (Plainview, NY: Books for Libraries Press,  1973) p. 142.
J’aime tellement l’Allemagne que je suis heureux qu’il y en ait deux.
As quoted in The Rough Guide to Germany (2004) by Gordon McLachlan, p. vii.
„One can touch a living soul through a curtain of vice and crime no matter how dense and dark: but vulgarity is an insurmountable barrier.“
On atteint aisément une âme vivante à travers les crimes, les vices les plus tristes, mais la vulgarité est infranchissable.
Le Nœud de vipères (1932), cited from Oeuvres romanesques, vol. 2 (Paris: Flammarion, 1965) p. 190; Gerard Hopkins (trans.) Knot of Vipers (Harmondsworth: Penguin,  1985) p. 193.