1. ”A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.”
2. "Banality is a symptom of non-communication. Men hide behind their clichés."
3. “Beauty is a precious trace that eternity causes to appear to us and that it takes away from us. A manifestation of eternity, and a sign of death as well.”
4. ”Childhood is the world of miracle and wonder; as if creation rose, bathed in the light, out of the darkness, utterly new and fresh and astonishing. The end of childhood is when things cease to astonish us.”
5. “Explanation separates us from astonishment, which is the only gateway to the incomprehensible.”
6. “For me, it is as though at every moment the actual world had completely lost its actuality. As though there was nothing there; as though there were no foundations for anything or as though it escaped us. Only one thing, however, is vividly present: the constant tearing of the veil of appearances; the constant destruction of everything in construction. Nothing holds together, everything falls apart.”
7. “Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together.”
8. "I am not quite sure whether I am dreaming or remembering, whether I have lived my life or dreamed it. Just as dreams do, memory makes me profoundly aware of the unreality, the evanescence of the world, a fleeting image in the moving water."
9. “I believe that in the history of art and of thought there has always been at every living moment of culture a "will to renewal." This is not the prerogative of the last decade only. All history is nothing but a succession of "crises" -- of rupture, repudiation and resistance. When there is no "crisis," there is stagnation, petrifaction and death. All thought, all art is aggressive.”
10. “I have no other pictures of the world apart from those which express evanescence, and callousness, vanity and anger, emptiness, or hideous useless hate. Everything has merely confirmed what I had seen and understood in my childhood: futile and sordid fits of rage, cries suddenly blanketed by the silence, shadows swallowed up for ever by the night.”
11. “It's not a certain society that seems ridiculous to me, it's mankind.”
12. "It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question."
13. “It isn't what people think that is important, but the reason they think what they think.”
14. ”Living is abnormal.”
15. “Mediocrity is more dangerous in a critic than in a writer.”
16. “No society has been able to abolish human sadness, no political system can deliver us from the pain of living, from our fear of death, our thirst for the absolute. It is the human condition that directs the social condition, not vice versa.”
17. "Realism, whether it be socialist or not, falls short of reality. It shrinks it, attenuates it, falsifies it; it does not take into account our basic truths and our fundamental obsessions: love, death, astonishment. It presents man in a reduced and estranged perspective. Truth is in our dreams, in the imagination."
18. “Since the death instinct exists in the heart of everything that lives, since we suffer from trying to repress it, since everything that lives longs for rest, let us unfasten the ties that bind us to life, let us cultivate our death wish, let us develop it, water it like a plant, let it grow unhindered. Suffering and fear are born from the repression of the death wish.”
19. “The critic should describe, and not prescribe.”
20. “The light of memory, or rather the light that memory lends to things, is the palest light of all. I am not quite sure whether I am dreaming or remembering, whether I have lived my life or dreamed it. Just as dreams do, memory makes me profoundly aware of the unreality, the evanescence of the world, a fleeting image in the moving water.”
21. “There are more dead people than living. And their numbers are increasing. The living are getting rarer.”
22. “There is no religion in which everyday life is not considered a prison; there is no philosophy or ideology that does not think that we live in alienation.”
23. “There is nothing truer than myth: history, in its attempt to "realize" myth, distorts it, stops halfway; when history claims to have "succeeded," this is nothing but humbug and mystification. Everything we dream is "realizable." Reality does not have to be: it is simply what it is.”
24. “The universe seems to me infinitely strange and foreign. At such a moment I gaze upon it with a mixture of anguish and euphoria; separate from the universe, as though placed at a certain distance outside it; I look and I see pictures, creatures that move in a kind of timeless time and spaceless space, emitting sounds that are a kind of language I no longer understand or ever register.”
25. “To try to belong to one's own time is already to be out of date.”
26. “Why do people always expect authors to answer questions? I am an author because I want to ASK questions. If I had answers I'd be a politician.”