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Jean Cocteau

Find the best quotes, maxims and aphorisms of: Jean Cocteau

Biography : French writer, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker.
Born: 1889 - Died: 1963
Period:
20th century
19th century
Place of birth: France
France
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Jean Cocteau - Quotes





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Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.
Jean Cocteau
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Cinema is the form of modern writing whose ink is light.
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Tact in audacity consists in knowing how far you can go too far.
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The worst fate of a poet is to be admired without being understood.
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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, they finish by loading honors on your head.
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The poet never asks for admiration; he wants to be believed.
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One must be a living man and a posthumous artist.
Jean Cocteau - Le Coq et l’Arlequin
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After the writer’s death, reading his journal is like receiving a long letter.
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Consider metaphysics as an extension of the physical.
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Art is science made clear.
Jean Cocteau - Le Coq et l’Arlequin
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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.
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Poetry is indispensable — if I only knew what for.
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Poets don’t draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently.
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An artist cannot speak about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture.
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An original artist is unable to copy. So he has only to copy in order to be original.
Jean Cocteau - Le Coq et l’Arlequin
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Such is the role of poetry. It unveils, in the strict sense of the word. It lays bare, under a light which shakes off torpor, the surprising things which surround us and which our senses record mechanically.
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There are truths which one can only say after having won the right to say them.
Jean Cocteau - Le Coq et l’Arlequin
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I have a piece of great and sad news to tell you: I am dead.
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The worst tragedy for a poet is to be admired through being misunderstood.
Jean Cocteau - Le Coq et l’Arlequin
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Look out! Be on your guard, because alone of all the arts, music moves all around you.
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What the public criticizes in you, cultivate. It is you.
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True realism consists in revealing the surprising things which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing.
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Mirrors would do well to reflect a little more before sending back images.
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A film is a petrified fountain of thought.
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When a work appears to be ahead of its time, it is only the time that is behind the work.
Jean Cocteau - Le Coq et l’Arlequin
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Beauty cannot be recognized with a cursory glance.
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Find first, seek later.
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We shelter an angel within us. We must be the guardians of that angel.
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The day of my birth, my death began its walk. It is walking toward me, without hurrying.
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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.
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