Louis Aragon


Quotations

  • ''O months of blossoming, months of transfigurations,
    May without cloud and June stabbed to the heart,
    I shall not ever forget the lilacs or the roses
    Nor those the spring has kept folded away apart.''
    Louis Aragon (1897-1982), French poet. Les Lilas et les Roses (trans. by Louis MacNeice), Le Crève-Coeur (1940).
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  • ''The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force.
    No more painters, no more scribblers, no more musicians, no more sculptors, no more religions, no more royalists, no more radicals, no more imperialists, no more anarchists, no more socialists, no more communists, no more proletariat, no more democrats, no more republicans, no more bourgeois, no more aristocrats, no more arms, no more police, no more nations, an end at last to all this stupidity, nothing left, nothing at all, nothing, nothing.''
    Louis Aragon (1897-1982), French poet, and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895), German social philosopher, revolutionary. paper, read Feb. 5, 1920, at the second Dada event, Salon des Indépendents, Paris, repr. In Maurice Nadeau, The History of Surrealism, ch. 3 (1964). "Manifesto of the Dada Movement," Littérature (Paris, May 1920).
  • ''There exists a black kingdom which the eyes of man avoid because its landscape fails signally to flatter them. This darkness, which he imagines he can dispense with in describing the light, is error with its unknown characteristics.... Error is certainty's constant companion. Error is the corollary of evidence. And anything said about truth may equally well be said about error: the delusion will be no greater.''
    Louis Aragon (1897-1982), French poet. "Preface to a Modern Mythology," Paris Peasant (1926).
  • ''Fear of error which everything recalls to me at every moment of the flight of my ideas, this mania for control, makes men prefer reason's imagination to the imagination of the senses. And yet it is always the imagination alone which is at work.''
    Louis Aragon (1897-1982), French poet. "Preface to a Modern Mythology," Paris Peasant (1926).
  • ''Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash.''
    Louis Aragon (1897-1982), French poet. "Preface to a Modern Mythology," Paris Peasant (1926).
  • ''There are strange flowers of reason to match each error of the senses.''
    Louis Aragon (1897-1982), French poet. "Preface to a Modern Mythology," Paris Peasant (1926).
  • ''Can the knowledge deriving from reason even begin to compare with knowledge perceptible by sense? No doubt the number of people crass enough to reply exclusively on the former and scorn the latter are sufficient in themselves to explain the disfavor into which everything deriving from the senses has gradually fallen. But when the most scholarly of men have taught me that light is a vibration, or offered me any other fruits of their labors of reasoning, they will not have rendered me an account of what is important to me about light, of what my eyes have begun to teach me about it, of what makes me different from a blind man—things which are the stuff of miracles, not subject matter for reasoning.''
    Louis Aragon (1897-1982), French poet. "Preface to a Modern Mythology," Paris Peasant (first published 1926, repr. 1971).
  • ''O reason, reason, abstract phantom of the waking state, I had already expelled you from my dreams, now I have reached a point where those dreams are about to become fused with apparent realities: now there is only room here for myself.''
    Louis Aragon (1897-1982), French poet. "Preface to a Modern Mythology," Paris Peasant (1926).
  • ''Love is made by two people, in different kinds of solitude. It can be in a crowd, but in an oblivious crowd.''
    Louis Aragon (1897-1982), French poet. taped discussion in La Révolution Surréaliste, no. 11 (Paris, March 15, 1928), repr. In Recherches sur la Sexualité (January 1928-August 1932). "Second Session," ed. José Pierre (1990).
  • ''The whole fauna of human fantasies, their marine vegetation, drifts and luxuriates in the dimly lit zones of human activity, as though plaiting thick tresses of darkness. Here, too, appear the lighthouses of the mind, with their outward resemblance to less pure symbols. The gateway to mystery swings open at the touch of human weakness and we have entered the realms of darkness. One false step, one slurred syllable together reveal a man's thoughts.''
    Louis Aragon (1897-1982), French poet. "The Passage de l'Opéra," Paris Peasant (1926).

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