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Françoise Sagan

  • ... happiness has always seemed to me a great achievement.

  • It amused me to think that if one told the truth when drunk, nobody believed it.

  • It is healthier to see the good points of others than to analyze our own bad ones.

  • I shall live bad if I do not write and I shall write bad if I do not live.

    • Françoise Sagan,
    • in The New York Times Book Review ()
  • Every little girl knows about love. It is only her capacity to suffer because of it that increases.

    • Françoise Sagan,
    • in London Daily Express ()
  • Writing takes a pen, a sheet of paper and, to start with, just the shadow of an idea.

  • ... curiosity is the beginning of wisdom.

  • These were the things he enjoyed: an unexpected face, the feel of a glass in his hand, low-voiced confidences that went on until dawn and were succeeded by exhaustion.

  • Art must take reality by surprise.

    • Françoise Sagan,
    • in Blair Fuller and Robert B. Silvers, "Françoise Sagan, "The Art of Fiction No. 15," Paris Review ()
  • When you make a decision to write according to a set schedule and really stick to it, you find yourself writing very fast. At least I do.

    • Françoise Sagan,
    • in Blair Fuller and Robert B. Silvers, "Françoise Sagan, "The Art of Fiction No. 15," Paris Review ()
  • For me, writing is a question of finding a certain rhythm. I compare it to the rhythm of jazz.

    • Françoise Sagan,
    • in Blair Fuller and Robert B. Silvers, "Françoise Sagan, "The Art of Fiction No. 15," Paris Review ()
  • Of course the illusion of art is to make one believe that great literature is very close to life, but exactly the opposite is true. Life is amorphous, literature is formal.

    • Françoise Sagan,
    • in Blair Fuller and Robert B. Silvers, "Françoise Sagan, "The Art of Fiction No. 15," Paris Review ()
  • There can never be enough said of the virtues, the dangers, the power of shared laughter.

  • ... to jealousy, nothing is more frightful than laughter.

  • ... no one talks about money more than people who have too much of it ...

    • Françoise Sagan,
    • in Douglas Hofstadter, trans., That Mad Ache ()
  • When man, Apollo man, rockets into space, it isn't in order to find his brother, I'm quite sure of that. It's to confirm that he hasn't any brothers ...

  • ... only by pursuing the extremes in one's nature, with all its contradictions, appetites, aversions, rages, can one hope to understand a little — oh, I admit only a very little — of what life is about.

  • No one, but no one, ever behaves 'well' in bed unless they love or are loved — two conditions seldom fulfilled.

  • It isn't common sense that is paramount in this world, it's wishful thinking.

  • She wasn't afraid of dying, for to die is nothing in itself, no more than cutting a final wisdom tooth.

  • I've often found myself preferring second-rate people to supposedly superior people, simply and solely because of their uncontrollable tendency to bang themselves against the sides of life's vast lampshade like fireflies or moths.

  • ... I always believe that things are going to work out. It's in my nature. Every time I see a film about Joan of Arc I'm convinced she'll get away with it.

  • If you don't have imagination you're lost. But it's a virtue that's becoming increasingly rare, especially in its higher form: spontaneity. Mad, happy spontaneity.

  • Illness is the opposite of freedom. It makes everything impossible.

  • I feel sorry for men. They have more problems than women, because they now have to compete with women.

  • There is no such thing as an ideal man. The ideal man is the man you love at the moment.

  • At night, time becomes a calm sea. It goes on for ever.

  • One partner is always more in love than the other.

  • Looking for pleasure is the best way to ensure you won't find it.

  • A love affair based on jealousy is doomed from the start ... It is certanly a sign of love, but it's a sign that it's already dying.

  • The happiness of people who are in love and who are loved shows in their faces. They have an expression that's at once very far away and very much part of the present.

  • If you treat life well, life is usually good to you. And I love life. There's a long-standing affair between us.

  • I don't think there's any intrinsic difference between a lover and a husband. ... If I were cynical, I would say that a woman should have both a good husband and a lover. But I'm not cynical so I'll just say that a woman should have a lover who's a good husband and a husband who's a good lover, perhaps both.

  • I think the best way to waste time is to try to save time.

  • The wealthy had a passion for bargains as lively as it was pointless.

  • But the Earth was soon going to find out that her children, these transitory creatures, had discovered the means not only of dying more quickly on her flanks, but of causing her to die along with them; the means to blow her up and destroy their foster mother, their only friend.

  • People respect unhappiness and find it especially hard to forgive success.

  • I like men to behave like men — strong and childish.

    • Françoise Sagan
  • The happiness of others is never bearable for very long ...

    • Françoise Sagan
  • I have known boredom, regret, and occasionally remorse, but never sorrow. Today it envelops me like a silken web, enervating and soft, and sets me apart from everybody else.

  • ... pity is an agreeable sentiment, uplifting like military music.

  • Jazz music is an intensified feeling of nonchalance.

Françoise Sagan, French writer

(1935 - 2004)

Born Françoise Quoirez