Marguerite Yourcenar Quotes

Enjoy the top 113 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Marguerite Yourcenar.

Marguerite Yourcenar Quotes

The landscape of my days appears to be composed, like mountainous regions, of varied materials heaped up pell-mell. There I see my nature, itself composite, made up of equal parts of instinct and training. Here and there protrude the granite peaks of the inevitable, but all about is rubble from the landslips of chance. I strive to retrace my life to find in it some plan, following a vein of lead, or of gold, or the course of some subterranean stream, but such devices are only tricks of perspective in the memory.
— Marguerite Yourcenar —

Passion such as hers is all consent, asking little in return. I had merely to enter a room where she was to see her face take on that peaceful expression of one who is resting in bed. If I touched her, I had the impression that all the blood in her veins was turning to honey.

— Marguerite Yourcenar

And nevertheless I have loved certain of my masters, and those strangely intimate though elusive relations existing between student and teacher, and the Sirens singing somewhere within the cracked voice of him who is first to reveal a new idea. The greatest seducer was not Alcibiades, afterall, it was Socrates.

— Marguerite Yourcenar

Nailed to the beloved body like a slave to a cross, I have learned some secrets of life which are now dimmed in my memory by the operation of the same law which ordains that the convalescent, once cured, ceases to understand the mysterious truths laid bare by illness, and that the prisoner, set free, forgets his torture, or the conqueror, his triumph passed, forgets his glory.

— Marguerite Yourcenar

It is not that I despise men. If I did I should have no right, and no reason, to try to govern.

— Marguerite Yourcenar

Chabrias, ever preoccupied to offer the gods the worship due them, was disturbed by the progress of sects of this kind among the populace of large cities; he feared for the welfare of our ancient religions, which yoke men to no dogma whatsoever, but lend themselves, on the contrary, to interpretations as varied as nature itself; they allow austere spirits who desire to do so to invent for themselves a higher morality, but they do not bind the masses to precepts so strict as to engender immediate constraint and hypocrisy.

— Marguerite Yourcenar

Any happiness is a masterpiece.

— Marguerite Yourcenar

I knew that good like bad becomes a routine, that the temporary tends to endure, that what is external permeates to the inside, and that the mask, given time, comes to be the face itself.

— Marguerite Yourcenar

Aveva dovuto credersi amato ben poco per non sentire che perderlo sarebbe stato per me il peggiore dei mali.

— Marguerite Yourcenar

Age means nothing. If anything I feel that I'm still a child: eternity and childhood are my ages.

— Marguerite Yourcenar

It is not difficult to nourish admirable thoughts when the stars are present.

— Marguerite Yourcenar

Translating is writing.

— Marguerite Yourcenar

I have come to think that great men are characterized precisely by the extreme position which they take, and that their heroism consists in holding to that extremity throughout their lives.

— Marguerite Yourcenar

A being afire with life cannot foresee death; in fact, by each of his deeds he denies that death exists.

— Marguerite Yourcenar

There are stages in bread-making quite similar to the stages of writing. You begin with something shapeless, which sticks to your fingers, a kind of paste. Gradually that paste becomes more and more firm. Then there comes a point when it turns rubbery. Finally, you sense that the yeast has begun to do its work: the dough is alive. Then all you have to do is let it rest. But in the case of a book the work may take ten years.

— Marguerite Yourcenar

Any truth creates a scandal.

— Marguerite Yourcenar

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