Jean Cocteau Quotes

Such is the role of poetry. It unveils, in the strict sense of the word. It lays bare, under a light which shakes off torpor, the surprising things which surround us and which our senses record mechanically.
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. repr. In Collected Works, vol. 9 (1950). "Le Secret Professionnel," Le Rappel à l'Ordre (1926).
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Wealth is an inborn attitude of mind, like poverty. The pauper who has made his pile may flaunt his spoils, but cannot wear them plausibly.
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. Les Enfants Terribles, trans. by Rosamond Lehmann (1929).
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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).
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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).
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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).
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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."
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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.
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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).
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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).
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If an addict who has been completely cured starts smoking again he no longer experiences the discomfort of his first addiction. There exists, therefore, outside alkaloids and habit, a sense for opium, an intangible habit which lives on, despite the recasting of the organism.... The dead drug leaves a ghost behind. At certain hours it haunts the house.
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French author, filmmaker. Opium, p. 60 (1929, trans. 1932, repr. 1957).
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