André Gide Quotes

Most popular André Gide Quotes

The color of truth is gray.
— André Gide

morals truth

The color of truth is grey.


Sin is whatever obscures the soul.


Most quarrels amplify a misunderstanding.

quarrels misunderstanding

Complete possession is proved only by giving.


The work of art is the exaggeration of an idea.


Sadness is almost never anything but a form of fatigue.

sadness fatigue

Man's responsibility increases as that of the gods decreases.


To love the truth is to refuse to let oneself be saddened by it.
— André Gide
There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.


Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.

doubt truth

Assuredly, all nature informs us that mankind is born for happiness.
— André Gide
To win one's joy through struggle is better than to yield to melancholy.
— André Gide

joy struggle melancholy

Seize from every moment its unique novelty, and do not prepare your joys.
Nothing is so silly as the expression of a man who is being complimented.
— André Gide


Fish die belly-upward and rise to the surface; it is their way of falling.
The less intelligent the white man is, the more stupid he thinks the black.

race racism

Other people's appetites easily appear excessive when one doesn't share them.


You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
— André Gide
Those who have never been ill are incapable of real sympathy for a great many misfortunes.
— André Gide


Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.


Those who fear influences and avoid them make a tacit avowal of the poverty of their souls.
— André Gide
He who makes great demands on himself is naturally inclined to make great demands on others.
— André Gide

human nature

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves—in finding themselves.
— André Gide


No progress in humanity is possible unless it shakes off the yoke of authority and tradition.
— André Gide

progress authority tradition

True kindness presupposes the faculty of imagining as one's own the suffering and joys of others.

kindness empathy

One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

courage discovery

To know how to free oneself is nothing; the arduous thing is to know what to do with one's freedom.


One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
— André Gide

risk-taking progress

Our judgments about things vary according to the time left us to live — that we think is left us to live.
— André Gide
Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and saying it all again.
— André Gide

listening philosophy

The individual man tires to escape the race.  And as soon as he ceases to represent the race, he represents man.

race individuality

Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.
— André Gide


To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him, and travel in his company.


From the satisfaction of desire there may arise, accompanying joy and as it were sheltering behind it, something not unlike despair.

despair desire satisfaction

One is always wrong to open a conversation with the devil, for, however he goes about it, he always insists upon having the last word.


Art begins with resistance - at the point where resistance is overcome. No human masterpiece has ever been created without great labor.
— André Gide


It is easier to lead men to combat, stirring up their passion, than to restrain them and direct them toward the patient labours of peace.
— André Gide


Great authors are admirable in this respect: in every generation they make for disagreement. Through them we become aware of our differences.

authors disagreement

Why have you not understood that all happiness is a chance encounter and that every moment presents itself to you like a beggar by the roadside?


The most decisive actions of our life – I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future – are, more often than not, unconsidered.
— André Gide

life decision-making

The free play of art cannot be enjoyed on an empty stomach.  Only after the dinner do we bring the artist onto the stage. His function is not to nourish but to intoxicate.


I owe much to my friends; but, all things considered, it strikes me that I owe even more to my enemies.  The real person springs to life under a sting even better than under a caress.


It is not always by plugging away at a difficulty and sticking to it that one overcomes it; often it is by working on the one next to it. Some things and some people have to be approached obliquely, at an angle.
— André Gide


What another would have done as well as you, do not do it. What another would have said as well as you, do not say it; what another would have written as well, do not write it. Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself-and thus make yourself indispensable.
— André Gide