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Gustave Flaubert quotes page 1

12 December 1821 – 8 May 1880, French author

To be stupid and selfish and to have good health are the three requirements for happiness,
though if stupidity is lacking, the others are useless.
Gustave Flaubert

A man has missed something if he has never left a brothel at dawn feeling like throwing
himself into the river out of sheer disgust with life.
Gustave Flaubert

Here is true immorality: ignorance and stupidity; the devil is nothing but this.
Gustave Flaubert

A friend who dies, it's something of you who dies.
Gustave Flaubert

Anything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough.
Gustave Flaubert

The better a work is, the more it attracts criticism; it is like the fleas who rush to jump on
white linens.
Gustave Flaubert

Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of
instruction. No, read in order to live.
Gustave Flaubert

Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises we have failed in.
Gustave Flaubert

A superhuman will is needed in order to write, and I am only a man.
Gustave Flaubert

One mustn't ask apple trees for oranges, France for sun, women for love, life for happiness.
Gustave Flaubert

Of all possible debauches, traveling is the greatest that I know; that's the one they invented
when they got tired of all the others.
Gustave Flaubert

Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.
Gustave Flaubert

Judge the goodness of a book by the energy of the punches it has given you. I believe the
greatest characteristic of genius, is, above all, force.
Gustave Flaubert

Exuberance is better than taste.
Gustave Flaubert

Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.
Gustave Flaubert

Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.
Gustave Flaubert

I have come to have the firm conviction that vanity is the basis of everything, and finally
that what one calls conscience is only inner vanity.
Gustave Flaubert

I hate that which we have decided to call realism, even though I have been made one of its
high priests.
Gustave Flaubert

The public wants work which flatters its illusions.
Gustave Flaubert

A memory is a beautiful thing, it's almost a desire that you miss.
Gustave Flaubert

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
Gustave Flaubert

Caught up in life, you see it badly. You suffer from it or enjoy it too much. The artist, in my
opinion, is a monstrosity, something outside of nature.
Gustave Flaubert

I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings.
Gustave Flaubert

The future is the worst thing about the present.
Gustave Flaubert

By trying to understand everything, everything makes me dream.
Gustave Flaubert

The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletarian to the level of stupidity attained by
the bourgeois.
Gustave Flaubert

Woman is a vulgar animal from whom man has created an excessively beautiful ideal.
Gustave Flaubert

The deplorable mania of doubt exhausts me. I doubt about everything, even my doubts.
Gustave Flaubert

You need a high degree of corruption or a very big heart to love absolutely everything.
Gustave Flaubert

The one way of tolerating existence is to lose oneself in literature as in a perpetual orgy.
Gustave Flaubert

Oh, if I had been loved at the age of seventeen, what an idiot I would be today. Happiness is
like smallpox: if you catch it too soon, it can completely ruin your constitution.
Gustave Flaubert

Pleasure is found first in anticipation, later in memory.
Gustave Flaubert

Life must be a constant education; one must learn everything, from speaking to dying.
Gustave Flaubert

One mustn't look at the abyss, because there is at the bottom an inexpressible charm which
attracts us.
Gustave Flaubert

One becomes a critic when one cannot be an artist, just as a man becomes a stool pigeon
when he cannot be a soldier.
Gustave Flaubert

There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it.
Gustave Flaubert

It's hard to communicate anything exactly and that's why perfect relationships between
people are difficult to find.
Gustave Flaubert

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