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.
When lovers kiss on the cheeks, it is because they are searching, feeling for one another's lips. Lovers are made by a kiss.
Death had to take her little by little, bit by bit, dragging her along to the bitter end of the miserable existence she'd made for herself. They never even knew what she did die of. Some spoke of a chill. But the truth was that she died from poverty, from the filth and the weariness of her wretched life.
But you said so yourself,the poor lass will die of it...Do you really want her to die?'Yes, I'd rather she died than have a bad life.
Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.
Why then should money be blamed for all the dirt and crimes it causes? For is love less filthy - love which creates life?
The festivity had reached that apogee of joy when you face the happy fate of being crushed to death.
They again kissed each other and fell asleep. The patch of light on the ceiling now seemed to be assuming the shape of a terrified eye, that stared wildly and fixedly upon the pale, slumbering couple who reeked with crime beneath their very sheets, and dreamt they could see a rain of blood falling in big drops, which turned into golden coins as they plashed upon the floor.
The thing is, work has simply swamped my whole existence. Slowly but surely it's robbed me of my mother, my wife, and everything that meant anything to me. It's like a germ planted in the skull that devours the brain, spreads to the trunk and the limbs, and destroys the entire body in time. No sooner am I out of bed in the morning than work clamps down on me and pins me to my desk before I've even had a breath of fresh air. It follows me to lunch and I find myself chewing over sentences as I'm chewing my food. It goes with me when I go out, eats out of my plate at dinner and shares my pillow in bed at night. It's so extremely merciless that once the process of creation is started, it's impossible for me to stop it, and it goes on growing and working even when I'm asleep. ... Outside that, nothing, nobody exists.
Haven't I told you scores of times, that you're always beginners, and the greatest satisfaction was not in being at the top, but in getting there, in the enjoyment you get out of scaling the heights? That's something you don't understand, and can't understand until you've gone through it yourself. You're still at the state of unlimited illusions, when a good, strong pair of legs makes the hardest road look short, and you've such a mighty appetite for glory that the tiniest crumb of success tastes delightfully sweet. You're prepared for a feast, you're going to satisfy your ambition at last, you feel it's within reach and you don't care if you give the skin off your back to get it! And then, the heights are scaled, the summits reached, and you've got to stay there. That's when the torture begins; you've drunk your excitement to the dregs and found it all too short and even rather bitter, and you wonder whether it was really worth the struggle. From that point there is no more unknown to explore, no new sensations to experience. Pride has had its brief portion of celebrity; you know that your best has been given and you're surprised it hasn't brought a keener sense of satisfaction. From that moment the horizon starts to empty of all hopes that once attracted you towards it. There's nothing to look forward to but death. But in spite of that you cling on, you don't want to feel you're played out, you persist in trying to produce something, like old men persist in trying to make love, with painful, humiliating results. ... If only we could have the courage to hang ourselves in front of our last masterpiece!
He knew that, from now on, every day would be alike, that they would all bring the same sufferings. And he saw the weeks, the months, the years that awaited him, gloomy and implacable, coming one after the other, falling on him and suffocating him bit by bit. When the future is without hope, the present takes on a vile, bitter taste.
But his doubts were again coming back to him; when you needed a miracle to gain belief, it means that you are incapable of believing. There is no need for the Almighty to prove His existence.
For a few moments, raising his arms desperately, the Reverend Mouret implored Heaven. His shoulder-blades cracked, with such fantastic force did he pray. But soon enough his arms fell to his sides, his hopes abashed. From heaven came one of those silences utterly void of hope known to the devout.
Hortense and Berthe nodded, as though profoundly impressed by the wisdom of their mother's pronouncements. She had long since convinced them of the absolute inferiority of men, whose sole function was to marry and to pay.
Ever since the morning, Pierre had beheld many frightful sufferings in that woeful white train. But none had so distressed his soul as did that wretched female skeleton, liquefying in the midst of its lace and its millions.
Monsieur Josserand died very quietly - a victim of his own honesty. He had lived a useless life, and he went off, worthy to the last, weary of all the petty things in life, done to death by the heartless conduct of the only human beings that he had ever loved.
At the street corner, a one-storey house built of freestone, but repulsively decrepit and filthy, seemed to command the entrance, like a gaol. And here, indeed, lived La Méchain, like a vigilant proprietess, ever on the watch, exploiting in person her little population of starving tenants.
Her anger was rekindled.'You see, I keep it to myself, but, oh! it's more than I can stand. Don't say anything, sir; don't say anything , or I'll explode!'He said nothing, and she exploded all the same.
Hélène slowly surveyed the room. In this respectable society, amongst these apparently decent middle-class people, were there none but faithless wives? With her strict provincial morality, she was amazed at the licensed promiscuity of Parisian life.
Never subject to the rules, believing that the correct judgement and healthy nature keep her in the honesty she lived in.
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.
He had ceased to believe in the efficacy of alms; it was not sufficient that one should be charitable, henceforth one must be just. Given justice, indeed, horrid misery would disappear, and no such thing as charity would be needed.
Therein lies the new hope—Justice, after eighteen hundred years of impotent Charity. Ah! in a thousand years from now, when Catholicism will be naught but a very ancient superstition of the past, how amazed men will be to think that their ancestors were able to endure that religion of torture and nihility!
He [Muffat] experienced a sense of pleasure mingled with remorse, the sort of pleasure peculiar to those Catholics whom the fear of hell spurs on to commit sin.
Her son would be incomparably handsome, good and powerful. He would be the expected Messiah; it is fortunate for humanity that all mothers have this pathetic faith, without it mankind would not have the ever-renascent strength to go on living.
He [Eugène Rougon] believed exclusively in himself; where another saw reasons, Rougon possessed convictions; he subordinated everything to the incessant aggrandisement of his own ego. Despite being utterly devoid of real self-indulgence, he nevertheless indulged in secret orgies of supreme power.
Kings may usurp thrones, republics may be established, but the town scarcely stirs. Plassan sleeps while Paris fights.
Men were springing up, a black avenging host was slowly germinating in the furrows, thrusting upward for the harvests of future ages. And very soon their germination would crack the earth asunder.
A new dynasty is never founded without a struggle. Blood makes good manure. It will be a good thing for the Rougon family to be founded on a massacre, like many illustrious families.--Monsieur de Carnavant
She might have liked to try to strangle him with those slender fingers of hers, but she wanted to make a job of it and this great patience with which she waited for her claws to grow was in itself a form of enjoyment.
His remorse was purely physical. Only his body, strained nerves, and cowering flesh were afraid of the drowned man. Conscience played no part in his terrors, and he had not the slightest regret about killing Camille; in his moments of calm, when the spectre was not present, he would have committed the murder over again had he thought his interests required it.
With other women he had not been able to touch their flesh without experiencing the desire to devour it, as though ravenous with an abominable hunger to butcher them. But this one, could he then love her, and not kill her?
As if one killed by calculation! A person kills only from an impulse that springs from his blood and sinews, from the vestiges of ancient struggles, from the need to live and the joy of being strong.