Andre Malraux (1901-1976)

“Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk – and to act.”

“The great mystery is not that we should have been thrown down here at random between the profusion of matter and that of the stars; it is that from our very prison we should draw, from our own selves, images powerful enough to deny our nothingness.”

“Culture is the sum of all the forms of art, of love, and of thought, which, in the coarse or centuries, have enabled man to be less enslaved.”

“To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less.”

“The most important thing in life is to see to it that you are never beaten.”

“There is always a need for intoxication: China has opium, Islam has hashish, the West has woman.”

“What is man? A miserable little pile of secrets.”

“An art book is a museum without walls.”

“And when man faces destiny, destiny ends and man comes into his own.”

“Youth is a religion from which one always ends up being converted”

“Communism destroys democracy. Democracy can also destroy Communism.”

“The attempt to force human beings to despise themselves – is what I call hell.”

“The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness.”

“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.”

“Man knows that the world is not made on a human scale; and he wishes that it were.”

“Then I despair… I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been murderers and tyrants, and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end they always fall. Think of it always.”

“Always, however brutal an age may actually have been, its style transmits its music only.”

“The total sacrifice to a cause beyond his comprehension restored a richness to man.”

“War puts its questions stupidly, peace mysteriously.”

“Some pictures are in the gallery because they belong to humanity and others because they belong to the United States.”

“There has been talk of the risks this painting took by leaving the Louvre. But the risks taken by the boys who landed one day in Normandy-to say nothing of those who had preceded them 25 years before-were much more certain.”

“To the humblest among them, who may be listening to me now, I want to say that the masterpiece to which you are paying historic homage this evening is a painting which he has saved.”

“Be careful, – with quotations you can damn anything.”

“There are not fifty ways of fighting, there’s only one, and that’s to win. Neither revolution nor war consists in doing what one pleases.”

“Opium teaches only one thing, which is that aside from physical suffering, there is nothing real.”

“The crucial discovery was made that, in order to become painting, the universe seen by the artist had to become a private one created by himself.”

“All art is a revolt against man’s fate.”

“Genius is not perfected, it is deepened. It does not so much interpret the world as fertilize itself with it.”

“The first duty of a leader is to make himself be loved without courting love. To be loved without ‘playing up’ to anyone – even to himself.”

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