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Émile Zola quotes (showing 1-30 of 183)

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”
Émile Zola
“Sin ought to be something exquisite, my dear boy.”
Émile Zola
“I am here to live out loud.”
Émile Zola
“Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.”
Émile Zola
“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.”
Émile Zola
“Blow the candle out, I don't need to see what my thoughts look like.”
Émile Zola, Germinal
“If people can just love each other a little bit, they can be so happy.”
Émile Zola, Germinal
tags: love
“If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.”
Émile Zola
“There are two men inside the artist, the poet and the craftsman. One is born a poet. One becomes a craftsman.”
Émile Zola
“I am little concerned with beauty or perfection. I don't care for the great centuries. All I care about is life, struggle, intensity.”
Émile Zola
“I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul.”
Émile Zola, J'accuse !
“From the moment I start a new novel, life’s just one endless torture. The first few chapters may go fairly well and I may feel there’s still a chance to prove my worth, but that feeling soon disappears and every day I feel less and less satisfied. I begin to say the book’s no good, far inferior to my earlier ones, until I’ve wrung torture out of every page, every sentence, every word, and the very commas begin to look excruciatingly ugly. Then, when it’s finished, what a relief! Not the blissful delight of the gentleman who goes into ecstasies over his own production, but the resentful relief of a porter dropping a burden that’s nearly broken his back . . . Then it starts all over again, and it’ll go on starting all over again till it grinds the life out of me, and I shall end my days furious with myself for lacking talent, for not leaving behind a more finished work, a bigger pile of books, and lie on my death-bed filled with awful doubts about the task I’ve done, wondering whether it was as it ought to have been, whether I ought not to have done this or that, expressing my last dying breath the wish that I might do it all over again!”
Émile Zola, The Masterpiece
“If you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.”
Émile Zola
“Art is a corner of creation seen through a temperament.”
Émile Zola
tags: art
“Don't go looking at me like that because you'll wear your eyes out.”
Émile Zola, La Bête humaine
“Respectable people... What bastards!”
Émile Zola, The Belly of Paris
“The fate of animals is of far greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous.”
Émile Zola
“Je n'ai guère de souci de beauté ni de perfection... Je n'ai souci que de vie, de lutte, de fièvre.”
Émile Zola
“It is not I who am strong, it is reason, it is truth.”
Émile Zola
“She was cold by nature, self-love predominating over passion; rather than being virtuous, she preferred to have her pleasures all to herself.”
Émile Zola, Pot-Bouille
“The past was but the cemetery of our illusions: one simply stubbed one's toes on the gravestones.”
Émile Zola, The Masterpiece
“When you have a sorrow that is too great it leaves no room for any other.”
Émile Zola
“When lovers kiss on the cheeks, it is because they are searching, feeling for one another's lips. Lovers are made by a kiss.”
Émile Zola, The Fortune of the Rougons
“These young people naturally grow up with ideas different from ours, for they are born for times when we shall no longer be here”
Émile Zola, Work
“Inability, human incapacity, is the only boundary to an art.”
Émile Zola, Le Naturalisme Au Theatre
“Oh, the fools, like a lot of good little schoolboys, scared to death of anything they've been taught is wrong!”
Émile Zola, The Masterpiece
“Il n'y a rien comme l'amour pour donner du courage aux jeunes gens.”
Émile Zola
“And then there are always clever people about to promise you that everything will be all right if only you put yourself out a bit... And you get carried away, you suffer so much from the things that exist that you ask for what can't ever exist. Now look at me, I was well away dreaming like a fool and seeing visions of a nice friendly life on good terms with everybody, and off I went, up into the clouds. And when you fall back into the mud it hurts a lot. No! None of it was true, none of those things we thought we could see existed at all. All that was really there was still more misery-- oh yes! as much of that as you like-- and bullets into the bargain!”
Émile Zola
“They dared not peer down into their own natures, down into the feverish confusion that filled their minds with a kind of dense, acrid mist.”
Émile Zola, Thérèse Raquin
“... Have you ever reflected that posterity may not be the faultless dispenser of justice that we dream of? One consoles oneself for being insulted and denied, by reyling on the equity of the centuries to come; just as the faithful endure all the abominations of this earth in the firm belief of another life, in which each will be rewarded according to his deserts. But suppose Paradise exists no more for the artist than it does for the Catholic, suppose that future generations prolong the misunderstanding and prefer amiable little trifles to vigorous works! Ah! What a sell it would be, eh? To have led a convict's life - to have screwed oneself down to one's work - all for a mere delusion!...

"Bah! What does it matter? Well, there's nothing hereafter. We are even madder than the fools who kill themselves for a woman. When the earth splits to pieces in space like a dry walnut, our works won't add one atom to its dust.”
Émile Zola
tags: art

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