Frases Henri Barbusse

„The real presence of truth is not in every word of truth, because of the wear and tear of words, and the fleeting multiplicity of arguments. One must have the gift of persuasion, of leaving to truth its speaking simplicity, its solemn unfoldings.“

—  Henri Barbusse

Light (1919), Ch. XXII - Light
Contexto: It is not enough to speak; you must know words. When you have said, "I am in pain," or when you have said, "I am right," you have said nothing in reality, you have only spoken to yourself. The real presence of truth is not in every word of truth, because of the wear and tear of words, and the fleeting multiplicity of arguments. One must have the gift of persuasion, of leaving to truth its speaking simplicity, its solemn unfoldings. It is not I who will be able to speak from the depths of myself. The attention of men dazzles me when it rises before me. The very nakedness of paper frightens me and drowns my looks. Not I shall embellish that whiteness with writing like light. I understand of what a great tribune's sorrow is made; and I can only dream of him who, visibly summarizing the immense crisis of human necessity in a work which forgets nothing, which seems to forget nothing, without the blot even of a misplaced comma, will proclaim our Charter to the epochs of the times in which we are, and will let us see it. Blessed be that simplifier, from whatever country he may come, — but all the same, I should prefer him, at the bottom of my heart, to speak French.

„What am I? I am the desire not to die.“

—  Henri Barbusse

The Inferno (1917), Ch. XIV
Contexto: What am I? I am the desire not to die. I have always been impelled — not that evening alone — by the need to construct the solid, powerful dream that I shall never leave again. We are all, always, the desire not to die. This desire is as immeasurable and varied as life's complexity, but at bottom this is what it is: To continue to be, to be more and more, to develop and to endure. All the force we have, all our energy and clearness of mind serve to intensify themselves in one way or another. We intensify ourselves with new impressions, new sensations, new ideas. We endeavour to take what we do not have and to add it to ourselves. Humanity is the desire for novelty founded upon the fear of death. That is what it is.

„There is nothing between the paradise dreamed of and the paradise lost. There is nothing, since we always want what we have not got. We hope, and then we regret.“

—  Henri Barbusse

Light (1919), Ch. XXIII - Face To Face
Contexto: There is nothing between the paradise dreamed of and the paradise lost. There is nothing, since we always want what we have not got. We hope, and then we regret. We hope for the future, and then we turn to the past, and then we begin slowly and desperately to hope for the past! The two most violent and abiding feelings, hope and regret, both lean upon nothing. To ask, to ask, to have not! Humanity is exactly the same thing as poverty. Happiness has not the time to live; we have not really the time to profit by what we are. Happiness, that thing which never is — and which yet, for one day, is no longer!

„The immense mourning of human hearts appears to us. We dare not name it yet; but we dare not let it not appear in all that we say.“

—  Henri Barbusse

Light (1919), Ch. XIX - Ghosts
Contexto: In those former times we lived. Now we hardly live any more, since we have lived. They who we were are dead, for we are here. Her glances come to me, but they do not join again the two surviving voids that we are; her look does not wipe out our widowhood, nor change anything. And I, I am too imbued with clear-sighted simplicity and truth to answer "no" when it is "yes." In this moment by my side Marie is like me.
The immense mourning of human hearts appears to us. We dare not name it yet; but we dare not let it not appear in all that we say.

„To understand life, and love it to its depths in a living being, that is the being's task, and that his masterpiece“

—  Henri Barbusse

Light (1919), Ch. XXIII - Face To Face
Contexto: To understand life, and love it to its depths in a living being, that is the being's task, and that his masterpiece; and each of us can hardly occupy his time so greatly as with one other; we have only one true neighbor down here.

„I believe in a lofty form of poetry, in the work in which beauty will be mingled with beliefs.“

—  Henri Barbusse

The Inferno (1917), Ch. XVII
Contexto: Who shall compose the Bible of human desire, the terrible and simple Bible of that which drives us from life to life, the Bible of our doings, our goings, our original fall? Who will dare to tell everything, who will have the genius to see everything?
I believe in a lofty form of poetry, in the work in which beauty will be mingled with beliefs. The more incapable of it I feel myself, the more I believe it to be possible. The sad splendour with which certain memories of mine overwhelm me, shows me that it is possible. Sometimes I myself have been sublime, I myself have been a masterpiece. Sometimes my visions have been mingled with a thrill of evidence so strong and so creative that the whole room has quivered with it like a forest, and there have been moments, in truth, when the silence cried out.
But I have stolen all this, and I have profited by it, thanks to the shamelessness of the truth revealed. At the point in space in which, by accident, I found myself, I had only to open my eyes and to stretch out my mendicant hands to accomplish more than a dream, to accomplish almost a work.

„There are official proclamations, full of the notion of liberty and rights, which would be beautiful if they said truly what they say. But they who compose them do not attach their full meaning to the words. What they recite they are not capable of wanting, nor even of understanding.“

—  Henri Barbusse

Light (1919), Ch. XXII - Light
Contexto: There are official proclamations, full of the notion of liberty and rights, which would be beautiful if they said truly what they say. But they who compose them do not attach their full meaning to the words. What they recite they are not capable of wanting, nor even of understanding. The one indisputable sign of progress in ideas to-day is that there are things which they dare no longer leave publicly unsaid, and that's all. There are not all the political parties that there seem to be. They swarm, certainly, as numerous as the cases of short sight; but there are only two — the democrats and the conservatives. Every political deed ends fatally either in one or the other, and all their leaders have always a tendency to act in the direction of reaction.

„It is not only a right; it is a virtue.“

—  Henri Barbusse

Light (1919), Ch. XVI - De Profundis Clamavi
Contexto: Men have gone towards each other because of that ray of light which each of them contains; and light resembles light. It reveals that the isolated man, too free in the open expanses, is doomed to adversity as if he were a captive, in spite of appearances; and that men must come together that they may be stronger, that they may be more peaceful, and even that they may be able to live.
For men are made to live their life in its depth, and also in all its length. Stronger than the elements and keener than all terrors are the hunger to last long, the passion to possess one's days to the very end and to make the best of them. It is not only a right; it is a virtue.

„I dimly see that there is something more than what we have seen, than what we have said, than what we have felt to-day. One day, perhaps, she and I will exchange better and richer sayings; and so, in that day, all the sadness will be of some service.“

—  Henri Barbusse

Light (1919), Ch. XIX - Ghosts
Contexto: Among some papers on my table I see the poem again which we once found out of doors, the bit of paper escaped from the mysterious hands which wrote on it, and come to the stone seat. It ended by whispering, "Only I know the tears that brimming rise, your beauty blended with your smile to espy."
In the days of yore it had made us smile with delight. To-night there are real tears in my eyes. What is it? I dimly see that there is something more than what we have seen, than what we have said, than what we have felt to-day. One day, perhaps, she and I will exchange better and richer sayings; and so, in that day, all the sadness will be of some service.

„Ah, it seems that truth goes farther in all directions than one thought! We bend over the wrong that animals suffer, for them we wholly understand.“

—  Henri Barbusse

Light (1919), Ch. XIV - The Ruins
Contexto: The horse has not stopped bleeding. Its blood falls on me drop by drop with the regularity of a clock, — as though all the blood that is filtering through the strata of the field and all the punishment of the wounded came to a head in him and through him. Ah, it seems that truth goes farther in all directions than one thought! We bend over the wrong that animals suffer, for them we wholly understand.
Men, men! Everywhere the plain has a mangled outline. Below that horizon, sometimes blue-black and sometimes red-black, the plain is monumental!

„Tradition reigns, the gospel of the blind adoration of what was and what is — God without a head.“

—  Henri Barbusse

Light (1919), Ch. XX The Cult
Contexto: Tradition reigns, the gospel of the blind adoration of what was and what is — God without a head. Man's destiny is eternally blockaded by two forms of tradition; in time, by hereditary succession; in space, by frontiers, and thus it is crushed and annihilated in detail. It is the truth. I am certain of it, for I am touching it.

„What I have seen is going to disappear, since I shall do nothing with it.“

—  Henri Barbusse

The Inferno (1917), Ch. XVII
Contexto: What I have seen is going to disappear, since I shall do nothing with it. I am like a mother the fruit of whose womb will perish after it has been born.
What matter? I have heard the annunciation of whatever finer things are to come. Through me has passed, without staying me in my course, the Word which does not lie, and which, said over again, will satisfy.

„I reflect that I am infinitely attached to this woman, that it is not true to say she is of less moment to me because desire no longer throws me on her as it used to do.“

—  Henri Barbusse

Light (1919), Ch. XXIII - Face To Face
Contexto: Against the window's still pallid sky I see her hair, silvered with a moonlike sheen, and her night-veiled face. Closely I look at the share of sublimity which she bears on it, and I reflect that I am infinitely attached to this woman, that it is not true to say she is of less moment to me because desire no longer throws me on her as it used to do. Is it habit? No, not only that. Everywhere habit exerts its gentle strength, perhaps between us two also. But there is more. There is not only the narrowness of rooms to bring us together. There is more, there is more! So I say to her:
"There's you."
"Me?" she says. "I'm nothing."
"Yes, you are everything, you're everything to me."

„War will come again after this one. It will come again as long as it can be determined by people other than those who fight.“

—  Henri Barbusse

Light (1919), Ch. XVI - De Profundis Clamavi
Contexto: War will come again after this one. It will come again as long as it can be determined by people other than those who fight. The same causes will produce the same effects, and the living will have to give up all hope.

„That society is badly arranged which forces nearly all women to be servants.“

—  Henri Barbusse

Light (1919), Ch. XXIII - Face To Face
Contexto: That society is badly arranged which forces nearly all women to be servants. Marie, who is as good as I am, will have spent her life in cleaning, in stooping amid dust and hot fumes, over head and ears in the great artificial darkness of the house. I used to find it all natural. Now I think it is all anti-natural.

„Turn where you will, everywhere, the man and the woman ever confronting each other, the man who loves a hundred times, the woman who has the power to love so much and to forget so much.“

—  Henri Barbusse

The Inferno (1917), Ch. XVI
Contexto: Turn where you will, everywhere, the man and the woman ever confronting each other, the man who loves a hundred times, the woman who has the power to love so much and to forget so much. I went on my way again. I came and went in the midst of the naked truth. I am not a man of peculiar and exceptional traits. I recognise myself in everybody. I have the same desires, the same longings as the ordinary human being. Like everybody else I am a copy of the truth spelled out in the Room, which is, "I am alone and I want what I have not and what I shall never have." It is by this need that people live, and by this need that people die.

„Between two masses of gloomy cloud a tranquil gleam emerges; and that line of light, so blackedged and beset, brings even so its proof that the sun is there.“

—  Henri Barbusse, libro Under Fire

Under Fire (1916), Ch. 24 - The Dawn
Contexto: While we get ready to rejoin the others and begin war again, the dark and storm-choked sky slowly opens above our heads. Between two masses of gloomy cloud a tranquil gleam emerges; and that line of light, so blackedged and beset, brings even so its proof that the sun is there.

„In life's tragedy, separation is the only thing one sees.“

—  Henri Barbusse

The Inferno (1917), Ch. XVI
Contexto: A couple, a man and a woman — poor human beings almost always go in pairs — approached, and passed. I saw the empty space between them. In life's tragedy, separation is the only thing one sees. They had been happy, and they were no longer happy. They were almost old already. He did not care for her, although they were growing old together. What were they saying? In a moment of open-heartedness, trusting to the peacefulness reigning between them at that time, he owned up to an old transgression, to a betrayal scrupulously and religiously hidden until then. Alas, his words brought back an irreparable agony. The past, which had gently lain dead, rose to life again for suffering. Their former happiness was destroyed. The days gone by, which they had believed happy, were made sad; and that is the woe in everything.

„I think of myself, of all that I am. Myself, my home, my hours; the past, and the future, — it was going to be like the past!“

—  Henri Barbusse

Light (1919), Ch. XV - An Apparition
Contexto: I think of myself, of all that I am. Myself, my home, my hours; the past, and the future, — it was going to be like the past! And at that moment I feel, weeping within me and dragging itself from some little bygone trifle, a new and tragical sorrow in dying, a hunger to be warm once more in the rain and the cold: to enclose myself in myself in spite of space, to hold myself back, to live.

„I believe, in spite of all, in truth's victory.“

—  Henri Barbusse

Light (1919), Ch. XXII - Light
Contexto: I believe, in spite of all, in truth's victory. I believe in the momentous value, hereafter inviolable, of those few truly fraternal men in all the countries of the world, who, in the oscillation of national egoisms let loose, stand up and stand out, steadfast as the glorious statues of Right and Duty.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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