30+ quotes from Nadja by André Breton

Quotes from Nadja

André Breton ·  160 pages

Rating: (6.4K votes)


“Beauty is like a train that ceaselessly roars out of the Gare de Lyon and which I know will never leave, which has not left. It consists of jolts and shocks, many of which do not have much importance, but which we know are destined to produce one Shock, which does...The human heart, beautiful as a seismograph...Beauty will be CONVULSIVE or will not be at all.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Beauty will be convulsive or will not be at all.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“A game: say something. Close your eyes and say something. Anything, a number, a name. Like this (she closes her eyes): Two, two what? Two women. What do they look like? Wearing black. Where are they? In a park. . . . And then, what are they doing? Try it, it's so easy, why don't you want to play? You know, that's how I talk to myself when I'm alone, I tell myself all kinds of stories. And not only silly stories: actually, I live this way altogether.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“...with the end of my breath, which is the beginning of yours.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“I am the soul in limbo.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Again begins the ridiculous, terrible waiting, in which we do not know which object to move, which gesture to repeat—what to do in order to make what we are waiting for happen.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Le coeur humain, beau comme un sismographe.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“How I loathe the servitude people try to hold up to me as being so valuable. I pity the man who is condemned to it, who cannot generally escape it, but it is not the burden of his labor that disposes me in his favor, it is -- it can only be -- the vigor of his protest against it.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“La vie est autre que ce qu'on écrit.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“…I know that if I were mad, after several days of confinement I should take advantage of any lapses in my madness to murder anyone, preferably a doctor, who came near me. At least this would permit me, like the violent, to be confined in solitary. Perhaps they’d leave me alone.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Elle me dit son nom, celui qu'elle s'est choisi: « Nadja, parce qu'en russe c'est le commencement du mot espérance, et parce que ce n'en n'est que le commencement.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“We are in front of a fountain, whose jet she seems to be watching. 'Those are your thoughts and mine. Look where they all start from, how high they reach, and then how it's still prettier when they fall back. And then they dissolve immediately, driven back up with the same strength, then there's that broken spurt again, that fall ... and so on indefinitely.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Sur le point de m’en aller, je veux lui poser une question qui résume toutes les autres, une question qu’il n’y a que moi pour poser, sans doute: "Qui êtes-vous?" Et elle, sans hésiter: "Je suis l’âme errante.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Vous ne pourrez jamais voir cette étoile comme je la voyais. Vous ne comprenez pas : elle est comme le cœur d'une fleur sans cœur.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“(...) Sí, por las tardes, hacia las siete, le gusta encontrarse en un vagón de segunda mano del metro. La mayoría de los pasajeros son personas que regresan de sus trabajos. Se sienta entre ellos, trata de sorprender en sus caras el motivo de sus preocupaciones. Naturalmente, están pensando en lo que acaban de abandonar hasta mañana, sólo hasta mañana, y también en lo que les espera esta noche, lo cual les alegra o les preocupa aún más. Nadja se queda mirando fijamente algo definido: «Hay buenas personas». Más alterado de lo que quisiera mostrarme, ahora sí me enojo: «Pues no. Además tampoco se trata de eso. El hecho de que soporten el trabajo, con o sin las demás miserias, impide que esas personas sean interesantes. Si la rebeldía no es lo más fuerte que sienten, ¿cómo podrían aumentar su dignidad sólo con eso? En esos momentos, por lo demás, usted les ve; ellos ni siquiera la ven a usted. Por lo que a mí se refiere, yo odio, con todas mis fuerzas, esa esclavitud que pretenden que considere encomiable. Compadezco al hombre por estar condenado a ella, porque por lo general no puede evitarla, pero si me pongo de su parte no es por la dureza de su condena, es y no podría ser más que por la energía de su protesta. Yo sé que en el horno de la fábrica, o delante de esas máquinas inexorables que durante todo el día imponen la repetición del mismo gesto, con intervalos de algunos segundos, o en cualquier otro lugar bajo las órdenes más inaceptables, o en una celda, o ante un pelotón de ejecución, todavía puede uno sentirse libre, pero no es el martirio que se padece lo que crea esa libertad. Admito que esa libertad sea un perpetuo librarse de las cadenas: será preciso, por añadidura, para que ese desencadenarse sea posible, constantemente posible, que las cadenas no nos aplasten, como les ocurre a muchos de los que usted me habla. Pero también es, y quizá mucho más desde el punto de vista humano, la mayor o menor pero, en cualquier caso, la maravillosa sucesión de pasos que le es dado al hombre hacer sin cadenas. Esos pasos, ¿les considera usted capaces de darlos? ¿Tienen tiempo de darlos, al menos? ¿Tienen el valor de darlos? Buenas personas, decía usted, sí, tan buenas como las que se dejaron matar en la guerra, ¿verdad? Digamos claro lo que son los héroes: un montón de desgraciados y algunos pobres imbéciles. Para mí, debo confesarlo, esos pasos lo son todo. Hacia dónde se encaminan, ésa es la verdadera pregunta. De algún modo, acabarán trazando un camino y, en ese camino, ¿quién sabe si no surgirá la manera de quitar las cadenas o de ayudar a desencadenarse a los que se han quedado en el camino? Sólo entonces será conveniente detenerse un poco, sin que ello suponga desandar lo andado». (Bastante a las claras se ve lo que puedo decir al respecto, sobre todo a poco que decida tratarlo de manera concreta.) Nadja me escucha y no intenta contradecirme. Tal vez lo último que ella haya querido hacer sea la apología del trabajo.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“I am concerned with facts of quite unverifiable intrinsic value, but which, by their absolutely unexpected violently fortuitous character, and the kind of associations of suspect ideas they provoke.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“…It would be hateful to refuse whatever she asks of me, one way or another, for she is so pure, so free of any earthly tie, and cares so little, but so marvelously, for life.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Par-delà toutes sortes de goûts que je me connais, d'affinités que je me sens, d'attirances que je subis, d'événements qui m'arrivent et n'arrivent qu'à moi, par-delà quantité de mouvements que je me vois faire, d'émotions que je suis seul à éprouver, je m'efforce, par rapport aux autres hommes, de savoir en quoi consiste, sinon à quoi tient, ma différenciation. N'est-ce pas dans la mesure exacte où je prendrai conscience de cette différenciation que je me révélerai ce qu'entre tous les autres je suis venu faire en ce monde et de quel message unique je suis porteur (...) ?”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“La beauté sera CONVULSIVE ou ne sera pas.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Is it true that the beyond, that everything beyond is here in this life? I can’t hear you. Who goes there? Is it only me? Is it myself?”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Je suis extrêmement ému. Pour faire diversion je demande où elle dîne. Et soudain cette légèreté que je n’ai vue qu’à elle, cette liberté peut-être précisément : "Où (le doigt tendu :) mais là, où là (les deux restaurants les plus proches), où je suis, voyons. C’est toujours ainsi. " Sur le point de m’en aller, je veux lui poser une question qui résume toutes les autres, une question qu’il n’y a que moi pour poser, sans doute : "Qui êtes-vous ? " Et elle, sans hésiter : "Je suis l’âme errante.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Be careful: everything fades, everything vanishes. Something must remain of us…”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Je préfère, encore une fois, marcher dans la nuit à me croire celui qui marche dans le jour.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Hacía mucho tiempo que yo había dejado de entenderme con Nadja. Lo cierto es que quizás nunca nos hemos entendido, al menos acerca de la manera deafrontar las cosas sencillas de la existencia.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Todo aquello que siento la tentación de comenzar, que requiere un sostenido esfuerzo, hace que me sienta demasiado seguro de que no estoy a la altura de la vida tal como yo la amo y se me ofrece: la vida hasta perder el aliento.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Unless you have been inside a sanitarium you do not know that madmen are made there, just as criminals are made in our reformatories. Is there anything more detestable than these systems of so-called social conservation which, for a peccadillo, some initial and exterior rejection of respectability or common sense, hurl an individual among others whose association can only be harmful to him and, above all, systematically deprive him of relations with everyone whose moral or practical sense is more firmly established than his own?”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Isegi kui olen üritanud midagi hingega teha, olen ma enam kui kindel, et ei vääri elu sellisena, nagu ma teda armastan ja nagu ta end pakub: elu, mis võtab hingetuks.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Desde el primero hasta el último día, tuve a Nadja por un genio libre, algo así como uno de esos espíritus etéreos a los que determinadas prácticas de magia permiten atraerse momentáneamente, pero que de ninguna manera podrían ser sometidos.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Nhan sắc sẽ là nhan sắc CO QUẮP hoặc sẽ không là gì cả.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


“Muchas veces he vuelto a ver a Nadja, su pensamiento se me ha hecho aún más inteligible, y su expresión ganó en agilidad, en originalidad, en profundidad. Es muy posible que al mismo tiempo el desastre irreparable que arrastraba consigo una parte de ella misma, la más humanamente precisa, ese desastre que advertí aquel día, me haya alejado paulatinamente de ella.”
― André Breton, quote from Nadja


About the author

André Breton
Born place: in Tinchebray, France
Born date February 19, 1896
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