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Charles Baudelaire Quotes


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It is by universal misunderstanding that all agree. For if, by ill luck, people understood each other, they would never agree.
 

It is from the womb of art that criticism was born.
 

It is necessary to work, if not from inclination, at least from despair. Everything considered, work is less boring than amusing oneself.
 

It is time to get drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of Time, get drunk; get drunk without stopping! On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish.
 

It would be difficult for me not to conclude that the most perfect type of masculine beauty is Satan, as portrayed by Milton.
 

It would perhaps be nice to be alternately the victim and the executioner.
 

Let us beware of common folk, of common sense, of sentiment, of inspiration, and of the obvious.
 

Life is a hospital in which every patient is possessed by the desire of changing his bed. One would prefer to suffer near the fire, and another is certain he would get well if he were by the window.
[Life]
 

Modernity is the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, which make up one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immutable. This transitory fugitive element, which is constantly changing, must not be despised or neglected.
 

Music fathoms the sky.
[Music]
 

Nature is a temple in which living columns sometimes emit confused words. Man approaches it through forests of symbols, which observe him with familiar glances.
 

Nature... is nothing but the inner voice of self-interest.
 

Nearly all our originality comes from the stamp that time impresses upon our sensibility.
 

Nothing can be done except little by little.
[Time]
 

Our religion is itself profoundly sad - a religion of universal anguish, and one which, because of its very catholicity, grants full liberty to the individual and asks no better than to be celebrated in each man's own language - so long as he knows anguish and is a painter.
[Anguish]
 

Progress, this great heresy of decay.
 

Sexuality is the lyricism of the masses.
 

The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.
 

The habit of doing one's duty drives away fear.
 

The insatiable thirst for everything which lies beyond, and which life reveals, is the most living proof of our immortality.
 


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