André Gide Love Quotes and Sayings
#1-2 Later Fruits of the Earth, Fruits of the Earth, Translation: Dorothy Bussy
1. Life might be more beautiful than men consent to make it. Wisdom lies not in reason but in love.
2. O you whom I love, come with me; thus far I will carry you—so that you may go farther still.
#3-4 The journals of André Gide Volume III: 1928-1939, Translation: Justin O’Brien, New York: A.A. Knopf, 1949 [S]
3. Love can be blind; friendship cannot; it owes it to itself not to be; and one can even go as far as to life a friend’s shortcomings; but in order to help him know them.
4. Every time I see her again I recognize anew that I have never really loved anyone but her; and even, at times, it seems to me that I love her more than ever.
#5 Strait is the gate (La porte étorite), Translation: Dorothy Bussy, Toronto: Macmillan, 1924 [S]
5. And indeed I felt happy with her, so perfectly happy, that the one desire of my mind was that it should differ in nothing from hers, and already I wished for nothing beyond her smile, and to walk with her thus, hand in hand, along a sun- warmed, flower-bordered path.
Excerpt from Wikipedia: André Paul Guillaume Gide (22 November 1869 – 19 February 1951) was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide’s career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anti-colonialism between the two World Wars.
Sayings by André Gide
#1-7 Fruits Of The Earth, Translated from the French by
Dorothy Bussy, 1897 [S]
1. May my book teach you to care more for yourself than for it—and then more for all the rest than for yourself.
2. Suppress in yourself the idea of merit—one of the mind’s greatest stumbling blocks.
3. . . . All our life long we have been tormented by the uncertainty of our paths.
4. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else, and out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, ah! the most irreplaceable of beings.
Variant translation: Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself—and thus make yourself indispensable.
5. Moments! You must realise…the power of their presence. For each moment of our lives is essentially irreplaceable; you should learn to sink yourself in it utterly.
Variant translation: Every instant of our lives is essentially irreplaceable: you must know this in order to concentrate on life.
6. Look upon the evening as the death of the day; and upon the morning as the birth of all things.
7. The wise man is he who constantly wonders afresh.
#8 The Journals Of André Gide Volume II 1914-1927,
Translation: Justin O’Brien [S]
8. A straight path never leads anywhere except to the objective.
9. Art begins with resistance—at the point where resistance is overcome. No human masterpiece has ever been created without great labor.
#10 “Croyez ceux qui cherchent la vérité, doutez de ceux qui la trouvent; doutez de tout; mais ne doutez pas de vous-mêmes.”, Ainsi Soit-Il, Ou Les Jeux Sont Faits in English “So Be It: Or The Chips Are Down, “Translation: Justin O’Brien [S]
10. …believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it; doubt everything, but don’t doubt of yourself.
#11 Later Fruits of the Earth
11. From the day that I succeeded in persuading myself that I had no need to be happy, happiness began to dwell in me; yes, from the day I persuaded myself that I needed nothing in order to be happy.
#12-14 Pretexts: Reflections on literature and morality, 1959, Selected, edited, and introduced by Justin O’Brien [S]
12. Everything that strives to affirm itself negates itself; everything that renounces itself asserts itself.
13. Complete possession is proved only by giving. All you are unable to give possesses you.
14. True kindness presupposes the faculty of imagining as one’s own the sufferings and joy of others. Without imagination, there can be weakness, theoretical or practical philanthropy, but not true kindness.
#15 “Toutes choses sont dites déjà; mais comme personne n’écoute, il faut toujours recommencer.”, Le Traité du Narcisse (The Treatise of the Narcissus) [S]
15. Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.
#16 The Journals of André Gide, 1889-1949: 1924-1949, Northwestern University Press, 1987
16. He depends on us. It is through us that God is achieved.
#17 If It Die, Translation: Dorothy Bussy [S]
17. My success secured me my schoolfellows’ respect and allowed me to live in peace for a long time to come. It convinced me too that there are many things that seem impossible only as long as one does not attempt them.
#18 The Journals Of André Gide Volume II 1914-1927,
Translation: Justin O’Brien [S]
18. It is in eternity that right now one must live. And it is right now that one must live in eternity.
#19-21 The Counterfeiters, 1927, Translated from the French by Dorothy Bussy [S]
19. To live without a goal, is to give oneself up to chance.
20. One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
21. Have you ever observed…that the most decisive actions of our life—I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future—are, more often than not, unconsidered?
#22-23 The Immoralist, Translation: Dorothy Bussy [S]
22. To know how to free oneself is nothing; the arduous thing is to know what to do with one’s freedom.
23. It is madness to envy other people’s happiness; one would not know what to do with it. Happiness won’t come to one ready-made; it has to be made to measure. [S]
#24-28 The journals of André Gide, Translation: Justin O’Brien, 1949 [S]
24. Through loyalty to the past, our mind refuses to realize that tomorrow’s joy is possible only if today’s makes way for it; that each wave owes the beauty of its line only to the withdrawal of the preceding one; that each flower owes it to itself to fade for the sake of its fruit; that the fruit, unless it falls and dies, cannot assure new blooms, so that spring itself rests on winter’s grief.
25. Not to make every effort toward pleasure, but to find one’s pleasure in effort itself is the secret of my happiness.
26. Do not turn away, through cowardice, from despair. Go through it. It is beyond that it is fitting to find motive for hope. Go straight ahead. Pass beyond. On the other side of the tunnel you will find light again.
27. He who makes great demands upon himself is naturally inclined to make great demands on others.
28. If, with all we have, we still don’t know how to be happy, this is because we have a false idea of happiness. When we understand that the secret of happiness lies not in possessing but in giving, by making others happy we shall be happier ourselves.
#29-31 Later Fruits of the Earth, Translation: Dorothy Bussy [S]
29. Obtain from yourself all that makes complaining useless. No longer implore from others what you yourself can obtain.
30. Let your happiness be to increase that of others. Work and strive and accept no evil that you might change. Keep saying to yourself, ‘It lies with me.’ One cannot resign oneself to the evils that come from men without baseness. Cease believing, if you ever believed it, that wisdom consists in resignation; or else cease laying claim to wisdom.
31. Comrade, do not accept the life that is offered you by men. Never cease to be convinced that life might be better—your own and others’; not a future life that might console us for the present one and help us to accept its misery, but this one of ours. Do not accept. As soon as you begin to understand that it is not God but man who is responsible for nearly all the ills of life, from that moment you will no longer resign yourself to bearing them.
Unsourced André Gide Quotes
1. He who wants a rose must respect her thorn.
2. Nothing prevents happiness like the memory of happiness.
3. It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.
4. I owe much to my friends; but, all things considered, it strikes me that I owe even more to my enemies. The real person springs life under a sting even better than under a caress.
5. It is better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for what you are not.