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Top 450 Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes (2023 Update)
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Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Neither sad nor gay is the desert – a boundless waste of sand under a burning waste of sky.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Revolutionary man must be a contingent being, unjustifiable but free, entirely immersed in the society that oppresses him, but capable of transcending this society by his effort to change it. Idealism mystifies him in that it binds him by rights and values that are already given; it conceals from him his power to devise roads of his own. But materialism also mystifies him, by depriving him of his freedom. The revolutionary philosophy must be a philosophy of transcendence.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Everything that burns, everything that rips me apart, I want to suffer with my body. I’d rather have a hundred wounds, whips, poisons – than this kind of suffering in the head, this phantom of suffering, which touches me softly and caresses me without ever really hurting.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Existentialism is not atheist in the sense that it would exhaust itself in demonstrations of the non-existence of God. It declares, rather, that even if God existed that would make no difference from its point of view. Not that we believe God does exist, but we think that the real problem is not that of His existence; what man needs is to find himself again and to understand that nothing can save him from himself, not even a valid proof of the existence of God.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “I wanted to be missed, like water, like bread, like air, by all other people in all other places.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Every sound comes into my ears dirty because you’ve heard it on the way.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “You see a woman, you think that one day she’ll be old, only you don’t see her grow old. But there are moments when you think you see her grow old and feel yourself growing old with her: this is the feeling of adventure.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Don’t you ever get taken that way? When I can’t see myself I begin to wonder if I really and truly exist. I pat myself just to make sure, but it doesn’t help much.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Existence is a fullness which man can never abandon.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “But time is too large, it can’t be filled up. Everything you plunge into it is stretched and disintegrates. That gesture, for instance, the red hand picking up the cards and fumbling: it is all flabby. It would have to be ripped apart and tailored inside.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “If I didn’t try to assume responsibility for my own existence, it would seem utterly absurd to go on existing.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Giacometti knows that space is a cancer on being, and eats everything; to sculpt, for him, is to take the fat off space, he compresses space, so as to drain off its exteriority.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Her eyes stare at me but she seems not to see me; she looks as though she were lost in her suffering.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “My passion was dead. For years it had rolled over and submerged me; now I felt empty. But that wasn’t the worst: before me, posed with a sort of indolence, was a voluminous, insipid idea. I did not see clearly what it was, but it sickened me so much I couldn’t look at it.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “But for me there is neither Monday nor Sunday: there are days which pass in disorder, and then, sudden lightning like this one. Nothing has changed and yet everything is different. I can’t describe it, it’s like the Nausea and yet it’s just the opposite: at last an adventure happens to me and when I question myself I see that it happens that I am myself and that I am here; I am the one who splits in the night, I am as happy as the hero of a novel.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “The truth is that I can’t put down my pen: I think I’m going to have the Nausea and I feel as though I’m delaying it while writing. So I write whatever comes into my mind.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “We stay silent for a moment. Evening is coming on; I can hardly make out the pale spot of her face. Her black dress melts with the shadow which floods the room. I pick up my cup mechanically, there’s a little tea left in it and I bring it to my lips. The tea is cold. I want to smoke but I don’t dare. I have the terrible feeling that we have nothing more to say to one another.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Everything happens to every man as though the whole human race had its eyes fixed upon what he is doing and regulated its conduct accordingly.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “I consented to die in his place; his life had no more value than mine; no life had value. They were going to slap a man up against a wall and shoot at him till he died, whether it was I or Gris or somebody else made no difference. I knew he was more useful than I to the cause of Spain but I thought to hell with Spain and anarchy; nothing was important.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Human feeling. That’s beyond my range. I’m rotten to the core.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “They are young and well built, they have another thirty years ahead of them. So they don’t hurry, they take their time, and they are quite right. Once they have been to bed together, they will have to find something else to conceal the enormous absurdity of their existence.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “A work of art is only a page torn from a life. It expresses this life, of course, but it could have very well not expressed it. No matter, for everything has the same value, whether it be writing The Possessed or drinking a cup of coffee.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “I can’t explain what I see. To anyone. There: I am quietly slipping into the water’s depths, towards fear. I am alone in the midst of these happy, reasonable voices. All these creatures spend their time explaining, realizing happily that they agree with each other. In Heaven’s name, why is it so important to think the same things all together.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “When she was in Djibouti and I was in Aden, and I used to go and see her for twenty-four hours, she managed to multiply the misunderstandings between us until there were exactly sixty minutes before I had to leave; sixty minutes, just long enough to make you feel the seconds passing one by one.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Can you justify your existence then?”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Unity may be achieved under a strong man, but the time comes when a people must stop looking for a savior and take responsibility for their own future.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Arriving in Paris, many English and Americans are surprised to find us less thin than they imagined. They have seen the elegant dresses that appear to be new, the suits which, from afar, still seem fashionable; rarely have they encountered that paleness of face, that bodily decline that normally signifies starvation. Their solicitude, since it has been deceived, turns to rancor: I believe that they are dismayed not to find us conforming to the pathetic image they had formed of us in advance.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “My existence began to worry me seriously. Was I not a simple spectre?”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “The flesh is the pure contingency of presence.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Man is fully responsible for his nature, choices and lifestyle.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Those who hide their complete freedom from themselves out of a spirit of seriousness or by means of deterministic excuses, I shall call cowards; those who try to show that their existence was necessary, when it is the very contingency of man’s appearance on earth, I shall call stinkers. But cowards or stinkers can be judged only from a strictly unbiased point of view.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Anny hasn’t changed her letter paper, I wonder if she still buys it at the little stationer’s in Piccadilly. I think that she has also kept her coiffure, her heavy blonde locks she didn’t want to cut. She must struggle patiently in front of mirrors to save her face: it isn’t vanity or fear of growing old; she wants to stay as she is, just as she is. Perhaps this is what I liked best in her, this austere loyalty to her most insignificant features.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “In irony a man annihilates what he posits within one and the same act; he leads us to believe in order not to be believed; he affirms to deny and denies to affirm; he creatives a positive object but it has no being other than its nothingness.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “All was fullness and all was active, there was no weakness in time, all, even the least perceptible stirring, was made of existence. And all these existents which bustled about this tree came from nowhere and were going nowhere.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “You and me are real people, operating in a real world. We are not figments of each other’s imagination. I am the architect of my own self, my own character and destiny. It is no use whingeing about what I might have been, I am the things I have done and nothing more. We are all free, completely free. We can each do any damn thing we want. Which is more than most of us dare to imagine.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “To exist is simply to he there; those who exist let themselves be encountered, but you can never deduce anything from them.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “No, my child, these things are impossible. It would have been better if she had recognize the truth courageously. She would have suffered once, then time would have erased with its sponge. There is nothing like looking things in the face, believe me.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “We play the part of heroes because we’re cowards, the part of saints because we’re wicked: we play the killer’s role because we’re dying to murder our fellow: we play at being because we are liars from the moment we’re born.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “I was neither a grandfather, nor a father, nor even a husband. I didn’t vote, I scarcely paid any taxes; I couldn’t lay claim to the rights of a tax-payer, nor to those of an elector, nor even to the humble right to honour which twenty years of obedience confer on an employee. My existence was beginning to cause me serious concern. Was I a mere figment of the imagination?”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “I am sure that fifteen minutes would be enough to reach supreme self-contempt. No thank you, I want none of that.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “There is something I longed for more than all the rest – without realizing it properly. It wasn’t love, heaven forbid, nor glory, nor wealth. It was... anyway, I had imagined that at certain moments my life could take on a rare and precious quality.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Everything happens to every man as if the entire human race were staring at him and measuring itself by what he does. So every man ought to be asking himself, “Am I really a man who is entitled to act in such a way that the entire human race should be measuring itself by my actions?” And if he does not ask himself that, he masks his anguish.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “When you want to understand something you stand in front of it, alone, without help: all the past in the world is of no use.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Madame Picard believed that a child should be allowed to read anything: ‘A book never does any harm if it is well written.’ While she was there, I had once asked permission to read Madame Bovary and my mother, in an oversweet voice, had said: ‘But if my darling reads books like that at his age, what will he do when he grows up?’ ‘I shall live them!’ This reply had met with the most complete and lasting success.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “Lucien thought with bitter pleasure that his parents found him looking fine. “I don’t exist.” He closed his eyes and let himself drift: existence is an illusion because I know I don t exist, all I have to do is plug my ears and not think about anything and I’ll become nothingness.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “I felt that the success of the enterprise was in my hands: the moment had an obscure meaning which had to be trimmed and perfected; certain motions had to be made, certain words spoken: I staggered under the weight of my responsibility.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “I’ve dropped out of their hearts like a little sparrow fallen from its nest.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “But no: he was empty, he was confronted by a vast anger, a desperate anger, he saw it and could almost have touched it. But it was inert – if it were to live and find expression and suffer, he must lend it his own body. It was other people’s anger. “Swine!” He clenched his fists, he strode along, but nothing came, the anger remained external to himself.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “How far away from them I feel, up on this hill. It seems to me that I belong to another species.”
Jean-Paul Sartre Quote: “We all wish we did not exist. It is a state where we have no choice. This is because when you have a choice comes responsibility and anxiety.”
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