Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

[Colette] (1873-1954 / Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye)

Sidonie Gabrielle Colette Quotes

  • ''It is not a bad thing that children should occasionally, and politely, put parents in their place.''
    Colette [Sidonie Gabrielle Colette] (1873-1954), French author. The Priest on the Wall (1922).
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  • ''When I had reached my term, I looked like a rat dragging a stolen egg.''
    Colette [Sidonie Gabrielle Colette] (1873-1954), French novelist. As quoted in Woman to Woman, by Julia Gilden and Mark Riedman (1994).
  • ''Don't ever wear artistic jewelry; it wrecks a woman's reputation.''
    Colette [Sidonie Gabrielle Colette] (1873-1954), French author. Aunt Alicia, in Gigi (1944, trans.1953). When asked (by Gilberte) "What is an artistic jewel?" Aunt Alicia replied, "It all depends. A mermaid in gold, with eyes of chrysoprase. An Egyptian scarab. A large engraved amethyst. A not very heavy bracelet said to have been chased by a master-hand. A lyre or star, mounted as a brooch. A studded tortoise. In a word, all of them frightful. Never wear baroque pearls, not even as hat-pins. Beware above all things, of family jewels!"
  • ''A pretty little collection of weaknesses and a terror of spiders are our indispensable stock-in-trade with the men.''
    Colette [Sidonie Gabrielle Colette] (1873-1954), French author. Aunt Alicia, in Gigi (1944, trans. 1953). When asked why, Aunt Alicia replied, "Because nine men out of ten are superstitious, nineteen out of twenty believe in the evil eye, and ninety-eight out of a hundred are afraid of spiders. They forgive us—oh! for many things, but not for the absence in us of their own feelings." Real name is Sidonie Gabrielle Colette.
  • ''It's nothing to be born ugly. Sensibly, the ugly woman comes to terms with her ugliness and exploits it as a grace of nature. To become ugly means the beginning of a calamity, self-willed most of the time.''
    Colette [Sidonie Gabrielle Colette] (1873-1954), French author. repr. In Journey for Myself (1971). "Beauties," Quatre Saisons (c. 1928).
  • ''My true friends have always given me that supreme proof of devotion, a spontaneous aversion for the man I loved.''
    Colette [Sidonie Gabrielle Colette] (1873-1954), French author. Break of Day (1928). Of her younger friends, Colette wrote, "I instinctively like to acquire and store up what promises to outlast me."
  • ''The lovesick, the betrayed, and the jealous all smell alike.''
    Colette [Sidonie Gabrielle Colette] (1873-1954), French author. repr. in Earthly Paradise, pt. 4, "The South of France," ed. Robert Phelps (1966). Break of Day (1961).
  • ''As for an authentic villain, the real thing, the absolute, the artist, one rarely meets him even once in a lifetime. The ordinary bad hat is always in part a decent fellow.''
    Colette [Sidonie Gabrielle Colette] (1873-1954), French author. repr. in Earthly Paradise, pt. 4, "The South of France," ed. Robert Phelps (1966). Break of Day (1961).
  • ''January, month of empty pockets!... Let us endure this evil month, anxious as a theatrical producer's forehead.''
    Colette [Sidonie Gabrielle Colette] (1873-1954), French author. repr. In Journey for Myself (1971). "Empty Pockets," Quatre Saisons (1928).
  • ''You must not pity me because my sixtieth year finds me still astonished. To be astonished is one of the surest ways of not growing old too quickly.''
    Colette [Sidonie Gabrielle Colette] (1873-1954), French author. Speech. "Lady of Letters," pt. 4, Earthly Paradise, ed. Robert Phelps (1966). On being elected to the Belgian Academy.

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