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Jean Cocteau Quotes


Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French poet, novelist, painter, and filmaker.
(1889 - 1963)

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A film is a petrified fountain of thought.
[Movies]
 

A prig always finds a last refuge in responsibility.
 

A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses.
[Poetry]
 

After the writer's death, reading his journal is like receiving a long letter.
 

All good music resembles something. Good music stirs by its mysterious resemblance to the objects and feelings which motivated it.
 

Allow the power of the soul to grow as flagrant as the power of sex.
 

An artist cannot speak about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture.
 

An original artist is unable to copy. So he has only to copy in order to be original.
 

Anything of any importance cannot help but be unrecognizable, since it bears no resemblance to anything already known.
 

Art is a marriage of the conscious and the unconscious.
 

Art is not a pastime but a priesthood.
 

Art is science made clear.
 

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.
[Art]
 

Asking an artist to talk about his work is like asking a plant to discuss horticulture.
 

Be a constant outrage to modesty There is nothing to fear: modesty is exercised only among the blind.
 

Be a mere assistant to your unconscious. Do only half the work. The rest will do itself.
 

Be helpful, even if it compromises you.
 

Certainly I believe in luck. How else do you explain the success of those you don't like?
[Success]
 

Children and lunatics cut the Gordian knot which the poet spends his life patiently trying to untie.
[Poetry]
 

Commissions suit me. They set limits. Jean Marais dared me to write play in which he would not speak in the first act, would weep for joy in the second and in the last would fall backward down a flight of stairs.
 


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