Henri Frédéric Amiel


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Henri Frédéric Amiel (27 September 1821 – 11 May 1881) was a Swiss philosopher, poet and critic.
Born in Geneva in 1821, he was descended from a Huguenot family driven to Switzerland by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.

After losing his parents at an early age, Amiel travelled widely, became intimate with the intellectual leaders of Europe, and made a special study of German ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Thought is a kind of opium; it can intoxicate us, while still broad awake; it can make transparent the mountains and everything that exists.''
    Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), Swiss philosopher, poet. Journal Intime, entry for Feb. 3, 1857 (1882), trans. by Mrs. Humphry Ward (1892).
  • Mutual repect implies discretion and reserve even in love itself; it means preserving as much liberty as possible to those whose life we share. We must distrust our instinct of intervention, for the d...
    Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), Swiss philosopher, poet. Journal Intime, entry for Nov. 7, 1862 (1882), trans. by Mrs. Humphrey Ward (1892).
  • ''In every loving woman there is a priestess of the past—a pious guardian of some affection, of which the object has disappeared.''
    Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), Swiss philosopher, poet. Journal Intime, entry for December 11, 1872 (1882), trans. by Mrs. Humphrey Ward (1892).
  • The philosopher is like a man fasting in the midst of universal intoxication. He alone perceives the illusion of which all creatures are the willing playthings; he is less duped than his neighbor by h...
    Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), Swiss philosopher, poet. Journal Intime, entry for August 30, 1872 (1882), trans. by Mrs. Humphrey Ward (1892).
  • Mozart has the classic purity of light and the blue ocean; Beethoven the romantic grandeur which belongs to the storms of air and sea, and while the soul of Mozart seems to dwell on the ethereal peaks...
    Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), Swiss philosopher, poet. Journal Intime, entry for Dec. 17, 1856 (1882), trans. by Mrs. Humphrey Ward (1892).
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