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A collection of quotes and sayings by Stendhal on love, life, books, literature, writing, beauty, God, personality, passion, psychology, humor, comfort and thought.

65 Great Quotes & Sayings By Stendhal

Quick Facts

Famous As: Writer

Born On: January 23, 1783

Died On: March 23, 1842

Born In: Grenoble

Died At Age: 59

Stendhal was a renowned French writer of the 19th century. He was a top student and was appointed at the Ministry of War after completing his graduation. He had great interest in writing but was made intendant-general of Napoleon’s army. During this period he travelled all through Germany and gained great knowledge about the state of war in Europe. Once the war ended he went back to writing and published the ‘Letters on Haydn, Mozart and Metastasio’ but was criticised for plagiarism. He bounced back with two of his novels including ‘Rome, Naples et Florence’ to repair his dented reputation as a writer. He was believed to be a spy by the new government and forced to move to Milan. There, he published ‘On Love’ where he tried to explain love psychologically but it reflected his frustration about love. He further wrote various novels but the most notable one was ‘The Red and the Black’. This book was a huge success and was acknowledged to be far beyond its time while being considered to be a significant contribution to literature. Go through the quotes and thoughts by this legendary author where he explains great things of life in the minimum possible word count. Take a look at the most notable quotations and sayings by Stendhal on reading, happiness, community and character.
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A good book is an event in my life.

Stendhal

One can acquire everything in solitude except character.

Stendhal

I love her beauty, but I fear her mind.

Stendhal

If you don't love me, it does not matter, anyway I can love for both of us

Stendhal

A novel is a mirror walking along a main road.

Stendhal

Our true passions are selfish.

Stendhal

Beauty is nothing other than the promise of happiness.

Stendhal

God's only excuse is that he does not exist

Stendhal

Pleasure is often spoiled by describing it.

Stendhal

All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.

Stendhal

A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love.

Stendhal

There are as many styles of beauty as there are visions of happiness.

Stendhal

After moral poisoning, one requires physical remedies and a bottle of champagne.

Stendhal

Faith, I am no such fool; everyone for himself in this desert of selfishness which is called life.

Stendhal

Indeed, man has two different beings inside him. What devil thought of that malicious touch?

Stendhal

The idea which tyrants find most useful is the idea of God.

Stendhal

I am mad, I am going under, I must follow the advice of a friend, and pay no heed to myself.

Stendhal

Your career will be a painful one. I divine something in you which offends the vulgar.

Stendhal

Each man for himself in that desert of egoism which is called life.

Stendhal

But, if I sample this pleasure so prudently and circumspectly, it will no longer be a pleasure.

Stendhal

An English traveller relates how he lived upon intimate terms with a tiger; he had reared it and used to play with it, but always kept a loaded pistol on the table.

Stendhal

Politics in a literary work, is like a gun shot in the middle of a concert, something vulgar, and however, something which is impossible to ignore.

Stendhal

The tyranny of public opinion (and what an opinion!) is as fatuous in the small towns of France as it is in the United States of America.

Stendhal

What is the use of a love that makes one yawn? One might as well take to religion.

Stendhal

The only way of touching a heart is to wound it

Stendhal

The pleasures of love are always in proportion to our fears.

Stendhal

Ce iubire mai e aceea care te face sa casti?

Stendhal

I think being condemned to death is the only real distinction," said Mathilde. "It is the only thing which cannot be bought.

Stendhal

The boredom of married life inevitable destroys love, when love has preceded marriage.

Stendhal

Exalted by a sentiment of which she was proud, and that overcame all her arrogance, she was reluctant to let a moment of her life go by without occupying it with some remarkable deed.

Stendhal

C'est la violente impression du laid sur une me faite pour aimer ce qui est beau.

Stendhal

...one of the traits of genius is not to drag its thought through the rut worn by vulgar minds.

Stendhal

Beauty is the promise of happiness.

Stendhal

Am trăit ndeajuns ca să văd că deosebirea dă naştere la ură.

Stendhal

Love is like a fever which comes and goes quite independently of the will

Stendhal

If you think of paying court to those in power, your eternal ruin is assured.

Stendhal

Julien felt himself to be strong and resolute like a man who sees clearly into his own heart.

Stendhal

It was the destiny of Napoleon - would it one day be his?

Stendhal

A novel is like a bow, and the violin that produces the sound is the reader’s soul.

Stendhal

Could anything possibly be more humorous than believing in the depth or in the depravity of the Parisian character?

Stendhal

I will never demean myself to speak about my courage," said Julien, coldly, "it would be mean to do so. Let the world judge by the facts.

Stendhal

A girl of sixteen had a complexion like a rose, and she put on rouge.

Stendhal

To write a book is to risk being shot at in public.

Stendhal

It seemed to Julian that there was far too much hair in his wig.

Stendhal

Prestige! Sir, is it nothing? To be revered by fools, gaped at by children, envied by the rich and scorned by the wise.

Stendhal

The suspicion that a rival is loved is painful enough already, but to have the love that he inspires in her confessed to one in detail by the woman whom one adores is without doubt the acme of suffering.

Stendhal

Want of exercise was beginning to affect his health and to give him the weak and excitable character of a young German student.

Stendhal

They can only touch the heart by bruising it.

Stendhal

The first qualification for a historian is to have no ability to invent.

Stendhal

L'amore come la febbre, nasce e si spegne senza che la volont vi abbia la pi piccola parte.

Stendhal

I cannot provide the reality of events, I can only convey their shadow.

Stendhal

An insane self-consciousness made him commit thousands of blunders.

Stendhal

Evo ti cijelog mog političkog života: volim glazbu i slikarstvo, a dobra je knjiga za mene doživljaj.

Stendhal

Kad netko vrši zločine, treba barem da ih vrši s užitkom; to je jedino dobro na njima i samo se time mogu donekle opravdati.

Stendhal

Your water does not refresh me, said the thirsty genie. Yet it is the coolest well in all the Diar Bekir.

Stendhal

Ljubav je kao groznica: rađa se i nestaje, a da čovjekova volja pri tome nema nikakvog udjela.

Stendhal

Love is a beautiful flower, but we must be brave enough to pick her up from the edge of a precipice.

Stendhal