Quotes from The Mandarins

Simone de Beauvoir ·  752 pages

Rating: (3.4K votes)


“She was ready to deny the existence of space and time rather than admit that love might not be eternal.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“She would never change, but one day at the touch of a fingertip she would fall to dust.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“In a way, literature is true than life,' he said to himself. 'On paper, you say exactly and completely what you feel. How easy it is to break things off on paper! You hate, you shout, you kill, you commit suicide; you carry things to the very end. And that's why it's false. But it's damned satisfying. In life, you're constantly denying yourself, and others are always contradicting you. On paper, I make time stand still and I impose my convictions on the whole world; they become the only reality.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“I could see no reason for being sad. It´s just that it makes me unhappy not to feel happy.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“Because we are separated everything separates us, even our efforts to join each other.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins



“People seem to think that if you keep your head empty you automatically fill your balls.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“She offered her mouth to him, as if enchanted. A Persian princess, a little Indian, a fox, a morning glory, a lovely wisteria--it always pleased them when you told them they looked like something, like something else.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“All the opportunities you let slip by! The idea, the inspiration just doesn´t come fast enough. Instead of being open, you´re closed up tight. That´s the worst sin of all - the sin of omission.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“He formed his sentences hesitantly and then threw them at me with such force that I felt as if I were receiving a present each time”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“But I must admit I didn´t like that idea; do the same thing as everyone else. Eating to live, living to eat - that had been the nightmare of my adolescence. If it meant going back to that, if would be just as well to turn on the gas at once. But I suppose everyone thinks of things like that: let´s turn on the gas at once. And you don´t turn it on.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins



“I tried to love you less.I couldn't.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“He reflected. 'I know a lot of different kids of people; what I want is to show each of them how the others really are. You hear so many lies! ”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“You said something very true the other day: that for us, nudity begins with the face.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“The day had been spent in the expectation of these hours, and now they were crumbling away, becoming, in their turn, another period of expectancy...It was a journey without end, leading to an indefinite future, eternally shifting just as she was reaching the present.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“I went to get a detective story. You have to kill time. But time will kill me too - and there´s the true, preestablished balance.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins



“Ready-made phrases and the ritual of etiquette were unknown to him; his thoughtfulness was pure improvisation, and it resembled the little inventions affection inspires.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“I quickly realized that friendships without tomorrows, and the little anguishes of parting, were part of the pleasures of traveling. I resolutely avoided bores, saw only those who amused me. We spent afternoons taking long walks, nights drinking and talking, and then we would leave each other, never to meet again, and there were no regrets. How simple life was. No regrets, no obligations, my acts and gestures counted for nothing, no one asked my advice, and I knew no other rule but my whims.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“Surviving one’s own life, living on the other side of it like a spectator, is quite comfortable after all. You no longer expect anything, no longer fear anything, and every hour is like a memory.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“When you stubbornly give one man a chance, you arbitrarily deny it to another one.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“در فضای قوسی شکل, خط راست نمیتوان کشید. در جامعه ای که منزه نیست, نمیتوان زندگی منزهی داشت. آم همواره به نحوی گرفتار است. تازه این هم خیال واهی است که باید خودمان را از شر ان خلاص کنیم. هیچ راه رستگاریی وجود ندارد.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins



“I could easily understand why Lambert was bored with this peace which gave us back our lives without giving us back our reasons for living.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“God! when you think of all the things you could do and yet somehow never do! All the opportunities you let slip by! The idea, the inspiration just doesn't come fast enough. Instead of being open, you're closed up tight. Thats's the worst sin of all - the sin of omission.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“I hadn't known Chancel very well, but ten days earlier I had seen him laughing with the others around the Christmas tree. Maybe Robert was right; the distance between the living and the dead really isn't very great. And yet, like myself, those future corpses who were drinking their coffee in silence appeared ashamed to be so alive.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“Always the same faces, the same surroundings, the same conversations, the same problems. The more it changes, the more it repeats itself. In the end, you feel as if you’re dying alive.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“To make something good of the future, you have to look the present in the face.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins



“Scriassine studied me in turn. "You're not so dumb, you know. Generally I dislike intelligent women, maybe because they're not intelligent enough. They always want to prove to themselves, and to everyone else, how terribly smart they are. So all they do is talk and never understand anything. What struck me the first time I saw you was that way you have of keeping quiet.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


“Щастлив е човекът, който може да погледне в лицето истината за живота си и да е доволен от нея. Щастлив е човекът, който я чете по лицата на приятелите си.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from The Mandarins


About the author

Simone de Beauvoir
Born place: in Paris, France
Born date January 9, 1908
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