Jean Cocteau Quotes

Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal. Drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort.
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. "On Invisibility," Diary of an Unknown (1953, trans. 1988).
If a hermit lives in a state of ecstasy, his lack of comfort becomes the height of comfort. He must relinquish it.
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. Opium, p. 21 (1929, trans. 1932, repr. 1957).
There is always a period when a man with a beard shaves it off. This period does not last. He returns headlong to his beard.
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. repr. (1957). Opium, p. 40 (1929, trans. 1932).
A car can massage organs which no masseur can reach. It is the one remedy for the disorders of the great sympathetic nervous system.
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. Opium, p. 20 (1929, trans. 1932, repr. 1957). Cocteau added, "The craving for opium can be endured in a car."
Victor Hugo was a madman who thought he was Victor Hugo.
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. Opium (1929). Quoting himself from a previous occasion.
Everything one does in life, even love, occurs in an express train racing toward death. To smoke opium is to get out of the train while it is still moving. It is to concern oneself with something other than life or death.
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. Opium (1929).
It is not I who become addicted, it is my body.
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. Opium, p. 73 (1929, trans. 1932, repr. 1957).
Life is a horizontal fall.
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. Opium (1929).
After the writer's death, reading his journal is like receiving a long letter.
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. Entry for June 7, 1953. Past Tense: Diaries, vol. 2 (1988). Cocteau was writing of Kafka's journal, which he had "read and re-read."
The day of my birth, my death began its walk. It is walking toward me, without hurrying.
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. repr. In Collected Works, vol. 2 (1947). "Postambule," La Fin du Potomac (1939).