Jean Cocteau - Quotes

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

Since the day of my birth, my death began its walk. It is walking toward me, without hurrying.

Since the day of my birth, my death began its walk. It is walking toward me, without hurrying.

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.

True realism consists in revealing the surprising things which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing. ---->>>

Style is a simple way of saying complicated things. ---->>>

Tact in audacity is knowing how far you can go without going too far. ---->>>

I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.

I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.

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

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

There is always a period when a man with a beard shaves it off. This period does not last. He returns headlong to his beard. ---->>>

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

Emotion resulting from a work of art is only of value when it is not obtained by sentimental blackmail. ---->>>

Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal. Drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort. ---->>>

A film is a petrified fountain of thought.

A film is a petrified fountain of thought.

The poet doesn't invent. He listens.

The poet doesn't invent. He listens.

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

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

If a hermit lives in a state of ecstasy, his lack of comfort becomes the height of comfort. He must relinquish it. ---->>>

We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like? ---->>>

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 is a marriage of the conscious and the unconscious.

Art is a marriage of the conscious and the unconscious.

The extreme limit of wisdom, that's what the public calls madness. ---->>>

Here I am trying to live, or rather, I am trying to teach the death within me how to live. ---->>>

Art is not a pastime but a priesthood. ---->>>

When a work appears to be ahead of its time, it is only the time that is behind the work. ---->>>

I am a lie who always speaks the truth. ---->>>

Mystery has its own mysteries, and there are gods above gods. We have ours, they have theirs. That is what's known as infinity. ---->>>

Poetry is indispensable - if I only knew what for. ---->>>

There are truths which one can only say after having won the right to say them. ---->>>

It is not I who become addicted, it is my body. ---->>>

The ear disapproves but tolerates certain musical pieces; transfer them into the domain of our nose, and we will be forced to flee. ---->>>

You've never seen death? Look in the mirror every day and you will see it like bees working in a glass hive. ---->>>

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

I believe in luck: how else can you explain the success of those you dislike?

I believe in luck: how else can you explain the success of those you dislike?

Life is a horizontal fall.

Life is a horizontal fall.

One must be a living man and a posthumous artist. ---->>>

The reward of art is not fame or success but intoxication: that is why so many bad artists are unable to give it up. ---->>>

If it has to choose who is to be crucified, the crowd will always save Barabbas. ---->>>

Poets don't draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently. ---->>>

Take a commonplace, clean it and polish it, light it so that it produces the same effect of youth and freshness and originality and spontaneity as it did originally, and you have done a poet's job. The rest is literature. ---->>>

The actual tragedies of life bear no relation to one's preconceived ideas. In the event, one is always bewildered by their simplicity, their grandeur of design, and by that element of the bizarre which seems inherent in them.

The actual tragedies of life bear no relation to one's preconceived ideas. In the event, one is always bewildered by their simplicity, their grandeur of design, and by that element of the bizarre which seems inherent in them.

Children and lunatics cut the Gordian knot which the poet spends his life patiently trying to untie. ---->>>

Silence moves faster when it's going backward. ---->>>

The Louvre is a morgue; you go there to identify your friends. ---->>>

There are too many souls of wood not to love those wooden characters who do indeed have a soul. ---->>>

What the public criticizes in you, cultivate. It is you. ---->>>

Everything one does in life, even love, occurs in an express train racing toward death. To smoke opium is to get out of the train while it is still moving. It is to concern oneself with something other than life or death. ---->>>

One of the characteristics of the dream is that nothing surprises us in it. With no regret, we agree to live in it with strangers, completely cut off from our habits and friends. ---->>>

I have lost my seven best friends, which is to say God has had mercy on me seven times without realizing it. He lent a friendship, took it from me, sent me another. ---->>>

The instinct of nearly all societies is to lock up anybody who is truly free. First, society begins by trying to beat you up. If this fails, they try to poison you. If this fails too, the finish by loading honors on your head. ---->>>

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. ---->>>

The worst tragedy for a poet is to be admired through being misunderstood. ---->>>

The poet never asks for admiration; he wants to be believed. ---->>>

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

Film will only became an art when its materials are as inexpensive as pencil and paper. ---->>>

I have a piece of great and sad news to tell you: I am dead. ---->>>

The day of my birth, my death began its walk. It is walking toward me, without hurrying. ---->>>

In Paris, everybody wants to be an actor; nobody is content to be a spectator. ---->>>

The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary out of order. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: French
Born: July 5, 1889
Birthplace: Maisons-Laffitte, France
Die: 10-11, 1963
Occupation: Director

Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (French: [ʒɑ̃ kɔkto]; 5 July 1889 – 11 October 1963) was a French writer, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. Cocteau is best known for his novel Les Enfants Terribles (1929), and the films The Blood of a Poet (1930), Les Parents Terribles (1948), Beauty and the Beast (1946) and Orpheus (1949) (wikipedia)