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When a work appears to be ahead of its time,
by Jean Cocteau

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

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

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

The poet doesn't invent.
He listens.
- Jean Cocteau

 

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.
- Jean Cocteau

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

A film is a petrified fountain of thought.
- Jean Cocteau

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The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.
- Jean Cocteau

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

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

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

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

Poetry is indispensable - if I only knew what for.
- Jean Cocteau

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.
- Jean Cocteau

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

Life is a horizontal fall.
- Jean Cocteau

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

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.
- Jean Cocteau

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

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

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

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

Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.
- Jean Cocteau

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One must be a living man and a posthumous artist.
- Jean Cocteau

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

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

Art is not a pastime but a priesthood.
- Jean Cocteau

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

Art is a marriage of the conscious and the unconscious.
- Jean Cocteau

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am a lie who always speaks the truth.
- Jean Cocteau

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

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

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

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

Whatever the public blames you for, cultivate it;
it is yourself.
- Jean Cocteau

Silence moves faster when it's going backward.
- Jean Cocteau

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

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

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.
- Jean Cocteau

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.
- Jean Cocteau

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.
- Jean Cocteau

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.
- Jean Cocteau

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.
- Jean Cocteau

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.
- Jean Cocteau

As we work to create light for others,
we naturally light our own way.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Live boldly. Laugh Loudly. Love Truly.
Play as often as you can
Work as smart as you are able.
Share your heart as deeply as you can reach.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

If you want to make peace with your enemy,
you have to work with your enemy.
Then he becomes your partner.
- Nelson Mandela

Dare to dream of your great success.
Become intimate with those things
which deeply motivate you
and regularly work toward
the realization of that mission.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

A time for work, a time for play -
balance in all things.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

When you are in any contest,
you should work as if there were -
to the very last minute - a chance to lose it.
This is battle, this is politics, this is anything.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Profit is a by-product of work;
happiness is its chief product.
- Henry Ford

The Tao of the sage is work without effort.
Practice non-action. Work without doing.
- Lao Tzu

The difference between work and play lies 100%
in the attitude of the participant.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

We work with the people not out of pity
but out of respect for their potential for growth and development,
both as individuals and as communities.
- Jimmy Yen

Laziness may appear attractive,
but work gives satisfaction.
- Anne Frank

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown
is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
- Bertrand Russell

If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up.
Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
- Michael Jordan


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