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Natalie Clifford Barney

"Indiscretion has always seemed to me to be one of the privileges of tact."

Natalie Clifford Barney, Adventures of the Mind (1929)

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"... anything difficult to say must be shouted from the rooftops."

Natalie Clifford Barney, Adventures of the Mind (1929)

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"... doubt seems the only purity for those who are too fervent to deny, and too lucid to affirm."

Natalie Clifford Barney, Adventures of the Mind (1929)

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"Our prejudices, our antipathies, are our natural defenses against what we could not assimilate."

Natalie Clifford Barney, Adventures of the Mind (1929)

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"Generous with ideas that he had not yet written, apparently as much a dilettante as I, our conversations became our works, outlines on the tablets of bright midnights. "

Natalie Clifford Barney, on Paul Valéry, Adventures of the Mind (1929)

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"Hero worship has died with heroes, and if someone bows down today, it is to pick up something."

Natalie Clifford Barney, Adventures of the Mind (1929)

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"Tea -- that perfume that one drinks, that connecting hyphen ... "

Natalie Clifford Barney, Adventures of the Mind (1929)

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"A scholar's heart is a dark well in which are buried many aborted feelings that rise to the surface as arguments."

Natalie Clifford Barney, Adventures of the Mind (1929)

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"Sensuality, wanting a religion, invented Love."

Natalie Clifford Barney, in ADAM International Review (1962)

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"The advantage of love at first sight is that it delays a second sight."

Natalie Clifford Barney, in ADAM International Review (1962)

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"Youth is not a question of years: one is young or old from birth."

Natalie Clifford Barney, in ADAM International Review (1962)

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"Why grab possessions like thieves, or divide them like socialists when you can ignore them like wise men?"

Natalie Clifford Barney, "My Country 'Tis of Thee," in ADAM International Review (1962)

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"It is time for dead languages to be quiet."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "On Writing and Writers," in ADAM International Review (1962)

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"Time engraves our faces with all the tears we have not shed."

Natalie Clifford Barney, in George Wickes, The Amazon of Letters (1976)

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"... albinos aren't reproached for having pink eyes and whitish hair, why should they hold it again me for being a lesbian? It's a question of nature: my queerness isn't a vice, isn't 'deliberate,' and harms no one."

Natalie Clifford Barney, 1910, in Shari Benstock, Women of the Left Bank: Paris, 1900-1940 (1986)

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"Perhaps a reign of powerful women is necessary to make, or unmake when need be, powerful men. Women would not waste so readily and uselessly the lives they had such care and pain in bearing. Why should they submit to the massacre of the innocent, one generation after another ... and allow them to be brought up as live-stock for the inevitable killing?"

Natalie Clifford Barney, in Shari Benstock, Women of the Left Bank: Paris, 1900-1940 (1986)

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"Being bilingual is like having a wife and a mistress. One can never be sure of either."

Natalie Clifford Barney, in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"To mis-quote is the very foundation of original style. The success of most writers is almost entirely due to continuous and courageous abuse of familiar misquotation."

Natalie Clifford Barney, in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"Our shadows are taller than ourselves."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"If only art were as rare as good taste ... "

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"Paris has always seemed to me to be the only city in which one can live as one sees fit."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"Being other than normal is a perilous advantage."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"My only books were women's looks."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"... if I had one ambition it was to make my life itself into a poem."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"You are so much more beautiful than the things that will befall you."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"To be married is to be neither alone nor together."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"I judge people's charm by the ease with which I express myself in their presence."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"Some people make it hard for me to believe in universal evolution."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"One is not oneself every day--fortunately."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"Fashion: the search for a new absurdity."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"Might I be the one I am looking for?"

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"She introduced me to pleasure--and I have never forgiven her."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"Avoid that romantic trap: saying more than you feel, forcing yourself to feel more than you've said!"

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"Like all religions, love has more believers than practitioners."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"In love there is no status quo."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"Eternity: what a waste of time. "

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"It's not surprising the faithful remain adoring; they never see him."

Natalie Clifford Barney, on God, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"He accumulated a wide vocabulary and waited all his life for an idea."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"A thought falls like a ripe fruit from the tree of idleness."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"A good book is never exhausted; we are never exhausted by a good book."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"What makes bad writers so annoying is their good passages."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"I am not a bibliophile but a humanophile: I look for rare human beings."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"I'm fond of human beings, but only one at a time."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"Seeking revenge: what a lack of foresight."

Natalie Clifford Barney

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"I do not understand those who spend hours at the theater watching scenes between people whom they would not listen to for five minutes in real life."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"All expression, all art, is an indiscretion we commit against ourselves. This is not an 'impoverishment' but an increase in wealth, for it is in this way that we make the short hours of our lives live on beyond themselves."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"Silence too can be indiscreet."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"That parasite: the past."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"To those who ask if I have read their book, I reply: I have not yet read Homer."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"If only 'right-thinking' people could be replaced by thinking people. "

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"If they were only free thinkers, but they are free speakers!"

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"The finest life is spent creating oneself, not procreating."

Natalie Clifford Barney, "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"I love the love of those who are far enough away, it becomes whatever I wish to believe it. "

Natalie Clifford Barney, 1963, in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"We are nearly all composed of such a complex mixture of human qualities that in each one of us reside both masculine and feminine principles: what man is without any female attribute and what woman never demonstrates any masculine characteristics?"

Natalie Clifford Barney, 1963, in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney (1992)

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"When you're in love you never really know whether your elation comes from the qualities of the one you love, or if it attributes them to her; whether the light which surrounds her like a halo comes from you, from her, or from the meeting of your sparks."

Natalie Clifford Barney

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"The past is such a subtle thing. [But] in the end, nothing else exists, everything is made of the past, even the future."

Natalie Clifford Barney

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Natalie Clifford Barney, U.S.-born French writer, poet, memoirist
(1876 - 1972)