LOUIS ARAGON QUOTES

French poet, novelist & editor (1897-1982)

Louis Aragon quote

Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash.

LOUIS ARAGON, Paris Peasant

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O reason, reason, abstract phantom of the waking state, I had already expelled you from my dreams, now I have reached a point where those dreams are about to become fused with apparent realities: now there is only room here for myself.

LOUIS ARAGON, Paris Peasant

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Everything that is not me is incomprehensible.

LOUIS ARAGON, The Adventures of Telemachus

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Error is certainty's constant companion. Error is the corollary of evidence. And anything said about truth may equally well be said about error: the delusion will be no greater.

LOUIS ARAGON, Paris Peasant

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Tags: mistakes


We know that the nature of genius is to provide idiots with ideas twenty years later.

LOUIS ARAGON, Treatise on Style

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Tags: genius


Most people have never known solitude.... But there are a few of the other kind who can go back to their rooms anywhere and close the door on the whole world, and feel that they need never emerge.

LOUIS ARAGON, Passengers of Destiny

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Tags: solitude


The vice named surrealism is the immoderate and impassioned use of the stupefacient image or rather of the uncontrolled provocation of the image for its own sake and for the element of unpredictable perturbation and of metamorphosis which it introduces into the domain of representation; for each image on each occasion forces you to revise the entire Universe.

LOUIS ARAGON, Paris Peasant

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Tags: surrealism


I have no friends, there are only people I love.

LOUIS ARAGON, response to Proust Questionaire, Livres de France, Jan. 1961

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Tags: friends


I shall always rebel against any attempt to reduce a human being to a kind of mannequin, whose deeds and questions would be comprehensible like the deeds and gestures of monarchs recorded day after day in official communiques. Six months of a life cannot catalogue the vitality, the activity of an individual; only death stops development and then, what is important is the overall meaning of a life, not the details of that life, edifying to some, scandalous to others.

LOUIS ARAGON, Treatise on Style

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Your imagination, my dear fellow, is worth more than you imagine.

LOUIS ARAGON, Paris Peasant

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Tags: imagination


It is time to return to close reading, to a serious and painstaking examination of an author's methods, of his style. Do not be deterred by headaches. First of all, this would be proof of your lack of stamina. And then, migraines, piercing pain and sudden stabs at the temples are more likely the effects of syphilis than of hard work.

LOUIS ARAGON, Treatise on Style

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Tags: criticism


There are strange flowers of reason to match each error of the senses. Admirable gardens of absurd beliefs, forebodings, obsessions and frenzies. Unknown, ever-changing gods take shape there.

LOUIS ARAGON, Paris Peasant

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Your heart like a hawk-mouth in the sun, your heart like a ship on an atoll, your heart like a compass needle driven mad by a little piece of lead, like washing drying in the wind, like a whining of horses, like seed thrown to the birds, like an evening paper one has finished reading! Your heart is a charade that the whole world has guessed.

LOUIS ARAGON, Paris Peasant

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I must confess that I and a few others are burdened with heavy responsibilities regarding the future of criticism. I am certainly, if not the inventor, then at least one of the first systematizers of an absurd critical practice that, as soon as it had peeked its beak out of the nest, flapping its new wet wings, took flight in the minds of the young, becoming a wild ox and sowing avant-garde literature with the mighty tomes of what might as well be called the abstract bear.

LOUIS ARAGON, Treatise on Style

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What on earth is modern exegesis up to? Oh, little lazy one! Some red wine and up! Off you go, brandishing your fork, stripped of Ophelia's useless ornaments, fire in your large nostrils, out to rake the muck of metaphors.

LOUIS ARAGON, Treatise on Style

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The authors of book reviews would consider themselves dishonored were they to mention, as they should, the subject of the book.

LOUIS ARAGON, Treatise on Style

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Tags: books


I demand that my books be judged with utmost severity, by knowledgeable people who know the rules of grammar and of logic, and who will seek beneath the footsteps of my commas the lice of my thought in the head of my style.

LOUIS ARAGON, Treatise on Style

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Tags: writing


In our day there are no longer any ideas, or they are scarcer than hens' teeth.

LOUIS ARAGON, Treatise on Style

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The whole fauna of human fantasies, their marine vegetation, drifts and luxuriates in the dimly lit zones of human activity, as though plaiting thick tresses of darkness. Here, too, appear the lighthouses of the mind, with their outward resemblance to less pure symbols. The gateway to mystery swings open at the touch of human weakness and we have entered the realms of darkness. One false step, one slurred syllable together reveal a man's thoughts.

LOUIS ARAGON, Paris Peasant

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Tags: fantasy


Yes, I read. I have that absurd habit. I like beautiful poems, moving poetry, and all the beyond of that poetry. I am extraordinarily sensitive to those poor, marvelous words left in our dark night by a few men I never knew.

LOUIS ARAGON, Treatise on Style

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Tags: poetry