Citáty Henri Barbusse

„Sometimes I myself have been sublime, I myself have been a masterpiece. Sometimes my visions have been mingled with a thrill of evidence so strong and so creative that the whole room has quivered with it like a forest, and there have been moments, in truth, when the silence cried out.“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: Who shall compose the Bible of human desire, the terrible and simple Bible of that which drives us from life to life, the Bible of our doings, our goings, our original fall? Who will dare to tell everything, who will have the genius to see everything? I believe in a lofty form of poetry, in the work in which beauty will be mingled with beliefs. The more incapable of it I feel myself, the more I believe it to be possible. The sad splendour with which certain memories of mine overwhelm me, shows me that it is possible. Sometimes I myself have been sublime, I myself have been a masterpiece. Sometimes my visions have been mingled with a thrill of evidence so strong and so creative that the whole room has quivered with it like a forest, and there have been moments, in truth, when the silence cried out. But I have stolen all this, and I have profited by it, thanks to the shamelessness of the truth revealed. At the point in space in which, by accident, I found myself, I had only to open my eyes and to stretch out my mendicant hands to accomplish more than a dream, to accomplish almost a work.

„They are your enemies, wherever they were born, however they pronounce their names, whatever the language in which they lie. Look at them, in the heaven and on the earth. Look at them, everywhere! Identify them once for all, and be mindful for ever!“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: There are all those things against you. Against you and your great common interests which as you dimly saw are the same thing in effect as justice, there are not only the sword-wavers, the profiteers, and the intriguers. There is not only the prodigious opposition of interested parties — financiers, speculators great and small, armorplated in their banks and houses, who live on war and live in peace during war, with their brows stubbornly set upon a secret doctrine and their faces shut up like safes. There are those who admire the exchange of flashing blows, who hail like women the bright colors of uniforms; those whom military music and the martial ballads poured upon the public intoxicate as with brandy; the dizzy-brained, the feeble-minded, the superstitious, the savages. There are those who bury themselves in the past, on whose lips are the sayings only of bygone days, the traditionalists for whom an injustice has legal force because it is perpetuated, who aspire to be guided by the dead, who strive to subordinate progress and the future and all their palpitating passion to the realm of ghosts and nursery-tales. With them are all the parsons, who seek to excite you and to lull you to sleep with the morphine of their Paradise, so that nothing may change. There are the lawyers, the economists, the historians — and how many more? — who befog you with the rigmarole of theory, who declare the inter-antagonism of nationalities at a time when the only unity possessed by each nation of to-day is in the arbitrary map-made lines of her frontiers, while she is inhabited by an artificial amalgam of races; there are the worm-eaten genealogists, who forge for the ambitious of conquest and plunder false certificates of philosophy and imaginary titles of nobility. The infirmity of human intelligence is short sight. In too many cases, the wiseacres are dunces of a sort, who lose sight of the simplicity of things, and stifle and obscure it with formulae and trivialities. It is the small things that one learns from books, not the great ones. And even while they are saying that they do not wish for war they are doing all they can to perpetuate it. They nourish national vanity and the love of supremacy by force. "We alone," they say, each behind his shelter, "we alone are the guardians of courage and loyalty, of ability and good taste!" Out of the greatness and richness of a country they make something like a consuming disease. Out of patriotism — which can be respected as long as it remains in the domain of sentiment and art on exactly the same footing as the sense of family and local pride, all equally sacred — out of patriotism they make a Utopian and impracticable idea, unbalancing the world, a sort of cancer which drains all the living force, spreads everywhere and crushes life, a contagious cancer which culminates either in the crash of war or in the exhaustion and suffocation of armed peace. They pervert the most admirable of moral principles. How many are the crimes of which they have made virtues merely by dowering them with the word "national"? They distort even truth itself. For the truth which is eternally the same they substitute each their national truth. So many nations, so many truths; and thus they falsify and twist the truth. Those are your enemies. All those people whose childish and odiously ridiculous disputes you hear snarling above you — "It wasn't me that began, it was you!" — "No, it wasn't me, it was you!" — "Hit me then!" — "No, you hit me!" — those puerilities that perpetuate the world's huge wound, for the disputants are not the people truly concerned, but quite the contrary, nor do they desire to have done with it; all those people who cannot or will not make peace on earth; all those who for one reason or another cling to the ancient state of things and find or invent excuses for it — they are your enemies! They are your enemies as much as those German soldiers are to-day who are prostrate here between you in the mud, who are only poor dupes hatefully deceived and brutalized, domestic beasts. They are your enemies, wherever they were born, however they pronounce their names, whatever the language in which they lie. Look at them, in the heaven and on the earth. Look at them, everywhere! Identify them once for all, and be mindful for ever!

Reklama

„You are a living creature, you are a human being, you are the infinity that man is, and all that you are unites me to you. Your suffering of just now, your regret for the ruins of youth and the ghosts of caresses, all of it unites me to you, for I feel them, I share them. Such as you are and such as I am. I can say to you at last, "I love you."“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: You are a living creature, you are a human being, you are the infinity that man is, and all that you are unites me to you. Your suffering of just now, your regret for the ruins of youth and the ghosts of caresses, all of it unites me to you, for I feel them, I share them. Such as you are and such as I am. I can say to you at last, "I love you." I love you, you who now appearing truly to me, you who truly duplicate my life. We have nothing to turn aside from us to be together. All your thoughts, all your likes, your ideas and your preferences have a place which I feel within me, and I see that they are right even if my own are not like them (for each one's freedom is part of his value), and I have a feeling that I am telling you a lie whenever I do not speak to you. I am only going on with my thought when I say aloud: "I would give my life for you, and I forgive you beforehand for everything you might ever do to make yourself happy.".

„Desire wears the brain as much as thought wears it. All my being is agog for chances to shine and to be shared.“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: I am looking for the happiness which lives. And truly, when I have a sense of some new assent wavering and making ready, or when I am on the way to a first rendezvous, I feel myself gloriously uplifted, and equal to everything! This fills my life. Desire wears the brain as much as thought wears it. All my being is agog for chances to shine and to be shared. When they say in my presence of some young woman that, "she is not happy," a thrill of joy tears through me.

„Against all the chains of facts I must have long arguments to bring; and the world's chaos requires an interpretation equally terrible.“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: My spirit is no longer what it was. Vaguely I seek, everywhere. I must see things with all their consequences, and right to their source. Against all the chains of facts I must have long arguments to bring; and the world's chaos requires an interpretation equally terrible.

„I have only one recourse, to remember and to believe.“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: I have only one recourse, to remember and to believe. To hold on with all my strength to the memory of the tragedy of the Room. I believe that the only thing which confronts the heart and the reason is the shadow of that which the heart and the reason cry for. I believe that around us there is only one word, the immense word which takes us out of our solitude, NOTHING. I believe that this does not signify our nothingness or our misfortune, but, on the contrary, our realisation and our deification, since everything is within us.

„There are official proclamations, full of the notion of liberty and rights, which would be beautiful if they said truly what they say. But they who compose them do not attach their full meaning to the words. What they recite they are not capable of wanting, nor even of understanding.“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: There are official proclamations, full of the notion of liberty and rights, which would be beautiful if they said truly what they say. But they who compose them do not attach their full meaning to the words. What they recite they are not capable of wanting, nor even of understanding. The one indisputable sign of progress in ideas to-day is that there are things which they dare no longer leave publicly unsaid, and that's all. There are not all the political parties that there seem to be. They swarm, certainly, as numerous as the cases of short sight; but there are only two — the democrats and the conservatives. Every political deed ends fatally either in one or the other, and all their leaders have always a tendency to act in the direction of reaction.

„You can form no idea of the beauty that is possible!“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: You can form no idea of the beauty that is possible! You cannot imagine what all the squandered treasure can provide, what can be brought on by the resurrection of misguided human intelligence, successively smothered and slain hitherto by infamous slavery, by the despicable infectious necessity of armed attack and defense, and by the privileges which debase human worth. You can have no notion what human intelligence may one day find of new adoration. The people's absolute reign will give to literature and the arts — whose harmonious shape is still but roughly sketched — a splendor boundless as the rest. National cliques cultivate narrowness and ignorance, they cause originality to waste away; and the national academies, to which a residue of superstition lends respect, are only pompous ways of upholding ruins.

„The child would grow up, a saviour, to give life to everything again. Starting at the dark bottom he would ascend the ladder and begin life over again, life, the only paradise there is, the bouquet of nature. He would make beauty beautiful. He would make eternity over again with his voice and his song. And clasping the new-born infant close, she looked at all the sunlight she had given the world.“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: The woman from the depths of her rags, a waif, a martyr — smiled. She must have a divine heart to be so tired and yet smile. She loved the sky, the light, which the unformed little being would love some day. She loved the chilly dawn, the sultry noontime, the dreamy evening. The child would grow up, a saviour, to give life to everything again. Starting at the dark bottom he would ascend the ladder and begin life over again, life, the only paradise there is, the bouquet of nature. He would make beauty beautiful. He would make eternity over again with his voice and his song. And clasping the new-born infant close, she looked at all the sunlight she had given the world. Her arms quivered like wings. She dreamed in words of fondling. She fascinated all the passersby that looked at her. And the setting sun bathed her neck and head in a rosy reflection. She was like a great rose that opens its heart to the whole world.

„I was walking, but I seemed to be falling from dream to dream, from desire to desire. A door ajar, an open window gave me a pang. A woman passing by grazed against me, a woman who told me nothing of what she might have told me. I dreamed of her tragedy and of mine.“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: I went out on the street like an exile, I who am an everyday man, who resemble everybody else so much, too much. I went through the streets and crossed the squares with my eyes fixed upon things without seeing them. I was walking, but I seemed to be falling from dream to dream, from desire to desire. A door ajar, an open window gave me a pang. A woman passing by grazed against me, a woman who told me nothing of what she might have told me. I dreamed of her tragedy and of mine. She entered a house, she disappeared, she was dead.

„More than attacks that are like ceremonial reviews, more than visible battles unfurled like banners, more even than the hand-to-hand encounters of shouting strife, War is frightful and unnatural weariness, water up to the belly, mud and dung and infamous filth. It is befouled faces and tattered flesh, it is the corpses that are no longer like corpses even, floating on the ravenous earth.“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: Waking, Paradis and I look at each other, and remember. We return to life and daylight as in a nightmare. In front of us the calamitous plain is resurrected, where hummocks vaguely appear from their immersion, the steel-like plain that is rusty in places and shines with lines and pools of water, while bodies are strewn here and there in the vastness like foul rubbish, prone bodies that breathe or rot. Paradis says to me, "That's war." "Yes, that's it," he repeats in a far-away voice, "that's war. It's not anything else." He means — and I am with him in his meaning — "More than attacks that are like ceremonial reviews, more than visible battles unfurled like banners, more even than the hand-to-hand encounters of shouting strife, War is frightful and unnatural weariness, water up to the belly, mud and dung and infamous filth. It is befouled faces and tattered flesh, it is the corpses that are no longer like corpses even, floating on the ravenous earth. It is that, that endless monotony of misery, broken, by poignant tragedies; it is that, and not the bayonet glittering like silver, nor the bugle's chanticleer call to the sun!" Paradis was so full of this thought that he ruminated a memory, and growled, "D'you remember the woman in the town where we went about a bit not so very long ago? She talked some drivel about attacks, and said, 'How beautiful they must be to see!'" A chasseur who was full length on his belly, flattened out like a cloak, raised his bead out of the filthy background in which it was sunk, and cried, 'Beautiful? Oh, hell! It's just as if an ox were to say, 'What a fine sight it must be, all those droves of cattle driven forward to the slaughter-house!'

„I believe that the only thing which confronts the heart and the reason is the shadow of that which the heart and the reason cry for. I believe that around us there is only one word, the immense word which takes us out of our solitude, NOTHING. I believe that this does not signify our nothingness or our misfortune, but, on the contrary, our realisation and our deification, since everything is within us.“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: I have only one recourse, to remember and to believe. To hold on with all my strength to the memory of the tragedy of the Room. I believe that the only thing which confronts the heart and the reason is the shadow of that which the heart and the reason cry for. I believe that around us there is only one word, the immense word which takes us out of our solitude, NOTHING. I believe that this does not signify our nothingness or our misfortune, but, on the contrary, our realisation and our deification, since everything is within us.

„The cult of the masterpieces of art and thought is the only impulse of the soul which, by general consent, has always soared above patriotic littlenesses.“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: If, from the idea of motherland, you take away covetousness, hatred, envy and vainglory; if you take away from it the desire for predominance by violence, what is there left of it? It is not an individual unity of laws; for just laws have no colors. It is not a solidarity of interests, for there are no material national interests — or they are not honest. It is not a unity of race; for the map of the countries is not the map of the races. What is there left? There is left a restricted communion, deep and delightful; the affectionate and affecting attraction in the charm of a language — there is hardly more in the universe besides its languages which are foreigners — there is left a personal and delicate preference for certain forms of landscape, of monuments, of talent. And even this radiance has its limits. The cult of the masterpieces of art and thought is the only impulse of the soul which, by general consent, has always soared above patriotic littlenesses.

„They do not know what they are doing.“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: Hidden behind the horizons, living men unite with machines and fall furiously on space. They do not see their shots. They do not know what they are doing. "You shall not know; you shall not know." But since the cannonade is returning, they will be fighting here again. All these battles spring from themselves and necessitate each other to infinity! One single battle is not enough, it is not complete, there is no satisfaction. Nothing is finished, nothing is ever finished. Ah, it is only men who die! No one understands the greatness of things, and I know well that I do not understand all the horror in which I am.

„In those former times we lived. Now we hardly live any more, since we have lived. They who we were are dead, for we are here.“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: In those former times we lived. Now we hardly live any more, since we have lived. They who we were are dead, for we are here. Her glances come to me, but they do not join again the two surviving voids that we are; her look does not wipe out our widowhood, nor change anything. And I, I am too imbued with clear-sighted simplicity and truth to answer "no" when it is "yes." In this moment by my side Marie is like me. The immense mourning of human hearts appears to us. We dare not name it yet; but we dare not let it not appear in all that we say.

„The noblest and most fruitful work of the human intelligence is to make a clean sweep of every enforced idea — of advantages or meanings — and to go right through appearances in search of the eternal bases.“

—  Henri Barbusse
Context: The noblest and most fruitful work of the human intelligence is to make a clean sweep of every enforced idea — of advantages or meanings — and to go right through appearances in search of the eternal bases. Thus you will clearly see the moral law at the beginning of all things, and the conception of justice and equality will appear to you beautiful as daylight. Strong in that supreme simplicity, you shall say: I am the people of the peoples; therefore I am the King of Kings, and I will that sovereignty flows everywhere from me, since I am might and right. I want no more despots, confessed or otherwise, great or little; I know, and I want no more.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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