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65 Great Quotes & Sayings By Stendhal

Famous As: French Writer Best Known for His Novels 'The Red and the Black' and 'The Charterhouse of Parma'
Born On: January 23, 1783
Died On: March 23, 1842
Born In: Grenoble, France
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.

A good book is an event in my life.

Stendhal
One can acquire everything in solitude except character.

One can acquire everything in solitude except character.

Stendhal
I love her beauty, but I fear her mind.

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

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.

A novel is a mirror walking along a main road.

Stendhal
Our true passions are selfish.

Our true passions are selfish.

Stendhal
Beauty is nothing other than the promise of happiness.

Beauty is nothing other than the promise of happiness.

Stendhal
God's only excuse is that he does not exist

God's only excuse is that he does not exist

Stendhal
Pleasure is often spoiled by describing it.

Pleasure is often spoiled by describing it.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

The only way of touching a heart is to wound it

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

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

Stendhal
Ce iubire mai e aceea care te face sa casti?

Ce iubire mai e aceea care te face sa casti?

Stendhal
I think being condemned to death is the only real distinction,

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.

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

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

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

Stendhal
Beauty is the promise of happiness.

Beauty is the promise of happiness.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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?

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,

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

They can only touch the heart by bruising it.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Stendhal