A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.
Alas, after a certain age every man is responsible for his face.
A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.
Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.
At 30 a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities, know how far he can go, foretell his failures - be what he is. And, above all, accept these things.
Don't let them tell us stories. Don't let them say of the man sentenced to death He is going to pay his debt to society, but: They are going to cut off his head. It looks like nothing. But it does make a little difference. And then there are people who prefer to look their fate in the eye.
But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?
A living man can be enslaved and reduced to the historic condition of an object. But if he dies in refusing to be enslaved, he reaffirms the existence of another kind of human nature which refuses to be classified as an object.
For centuries the death penalty, often accompanied by barbarous refinements, has been trying to hold crime in check; yet crime persists. Why? Because the instincts that are warring in man are not, as the law claims, constant forces in a state of equilibrium.
To assert in any case that a man must be absolutely cut off from society because he is absolutely evil amounts to saying that society is absolutely good, and no-one in his right mind will believe this today.
At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.
Every man needs slaves like he needs clean air. To rule is to breathe, is it not? And even the most disenfranchised get to breathe. The lowest on the social scale have their spouses or their children.
How hard, how bitter it is to become a man!
Man is an idea, and a precious small idea once he turns his back on love.
Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is.
Man wants to live, but it is useless to hope that this desire will dictate all his actions.
The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
The greatest saving one can make in the order of thought is to accept the unintelligibility of the world -- and to pay attention to man.
Nothing can discourage the appetite for divinity in the heart of man.
Whatever we may do, excess will always keep its place in the heart of man, in the place where solitude is found. We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to fight them in ourselves and in others.
When the imagination sleeps, words are emptied of their meaning: a deaf population absent-mindedly registers the condemnation of a man.... there is no other solution but to speak out and show the obscenity hidden under the verbal cloak.
The opposite of an idealist is too often a man without love.