Andre Gide

The Counterfeiters

Vincent walks home, meditating as he goes; he realizes that from the satisfaction of desire there may arise, accompanying joy and as it were sheltering behind it, something not unlike despair.

Whoever really loves abandons all sincerity. 63

The deeper the soul plunges into religious devotion, the more it loses all sense of reality, all need, all desire, all love for reality. I have observed the same thing in Vedel upon the few occasions that I have spoken to him. The dazzling light of their faith blinds them to the surrounding world and to their own selves. As for me, who cares for nothing so much as to see the world and myself clearly, I am amazed at the coils of falsehood in which devout persons take delight. 97

If one could recover the uncompromising spirit of one's youth, one's greatest indignation would be for what one has become. 151

Why, if anyone were to ask me to-day what virtue I considered the finest, I should answer without hesitation--honesty. Oh, Laura! I should like all my life long, at the very smallest shock, to ring true, with a pure, authentic sound. Nearly all the people I have known ring false. To be worth exactly what one seems to be worth--not to try to seem to be worth more...One wants to deceive people, and one is so much occupied with seeming, that one ends by not knowing what one really is...185

I may sometimes have made mistakes--perhaps I am making one now in talking to you like this--but you, on your side, don't imagine that because I have given myself to you that you have won me. Make certain of this--I abominate mediocrity and I can love no one who isn't a conqueror. 58

In reality I don't know what I think of him. He is never the same for long together. He is attached to nothing, but nothing is more attractive than his elusiveness. He is perpetually forming, unforming, re-forming himself. One thinks one has grasped him...Proteus! He takes the shape of what he loves, and oneself must love him to understand him. 187

There's no jealousy without love. 232

Alas! The most lamentable lack of all--lack of character--is a hidden one, to be revealed only by time and usage. 256

As for me, I maintain that if there's anything more contemptible and more abject than a man, it's a lot of men. 304

He had not said a word to me about Boris; but I thought that in this mystical despair was to be seen the expression of a grief too blinding to be looked at steadfastly. 365

Gide's Journal

Never present ideas except in terms of temperaments and characters. 374