Realism falls short of reality. It shrinks it, attenuates it, falsifies it; it does not take into account our basic truths and our fundamental obsessions: love, death, astonishment. It presents man in a reduced and estranged perspective. Truth is in our dreams, in the imagination.
A person who has not completely lost the memory of paradise, even though it is a faint one, will suffer endlessly. He will feel the call of the essential world, will hear the voice that comes from so far away that one cannot find out where it comes from, a voice that cannot guide him.
I've always been suspicious of collective truths. I think an idea is true when it hasn't been put into words and that the moment it's put into words it becomes exaggerated. Because the moment it's put into words there's an abuse, an excess in the expression of the idea that makes it false.
For me, it is as though at every moment the actual world had completely lost its actuality. As though there was nothing there; asthough there were no foundations for anything or as though it escaped us. Only one thing, however, is vividly present: the constant tearing of the veil of appearances; the constant destruction of everything in construction. Nothing holds together, everything falls apart.
All the plays that have ever been written, from ancient Greece to the present day, have never really been anything but thrillers... Drama's always been realistic and there's always been a detective about... Every play's an investigation brought to a successful conclusion.
In the history of humanity there are no civilizations or cultures which fail to manifest, in one or a thousand ways, this need for an absolute that is called heaven, freedom, a miracle, a lost paradise to be regained, peace, the going beyond History... There is no religion in which everyday life is not considered a prison; there is no philosophy or ideology that does not think that we live in alienation.... Humanity has always had a nostalgia for the freedom that is only beauty, that is only real; life, plenitude, light.
Every work of art (unless it is a psuedo-intellectualist work, a work already comprised in some ideology that it merely illustrates, as with Brecht ) is outside ideology, is not reducible to ideology. Ideology circumscribes without penetrating it. The absence of ideology in a work does not mean an absence of ideas; on the contrary it fertilizes them.
There is nothing truer than myth: history, in its attempt to realize myth, distorts it, stops halfway; when history claims to have succeeded, this is nothing but humbug and mystification. Everything we dream is realizable. Reality does not have to be: it is simply what it is.
I believe that in the history of art and of thought there has always been at every living moment of culture a will to renewal. This is not the prerogative of the last decade only. All history is nothing but a succession of crises - of rupture, repudiation and resistance. When there is no crisis, there is stagnation, petrifaction and death. All thought, all art is aggressive.
I have no other pictures of the world apart from those which express evanescence, and callousness, vanity and anger, emptiness, orhideous useless hate. Everything has merely confirmed what I had seen and understood in my childhood: futile and sordid fits of rage, cries suddenly blanketed by the silence, shadows swallowed up for ever by the night.
As soon as one knows one is going to die, childhood is over.... So one can be grown up at seven. Then, I believe most human beings forget what they have understood, recover another sort of childhood that can last all their lives. It is not a true childhood but a kind of forgetting. Desires and anxieties are there, preventing you from having access to the essential truth.
Childhood is the world of miracle or of magic: it is as if creation rose luminously out of the night, all new and fresh and astonishing. Childhood is over the moment things are no longer astonishing. When the world gives you a feeling of "déjà vu," when you are used to existence, you become an adult.
The light of memory, or rather the light that memory lends to things, is the palest light of all. I am not quite sure whether I am dreaming or remembering, whether I have lived my life or dreamed it. Just as dreams do, memory makes me profoundly aware of the unreality, the evanescence of the world, a fleeting image in the moving water.
The supreme trick of mass insanity is that it persuades you that the only abnormal person is the one who refuses to join in the madness of others, the one who tries vainly to resist. We will never understand totalitarianism if we do not understand that people rarely have the strength to be uncommon.
Since the death instinct exists in the heart of everything that lives, since we suffer from trying to repress it, since everything that lives longs for rest, let us unfasten the ties that bind us to life, let us cultivate our death wish, let us develop it, water it like a plant, let it grow unhindered. Suffering and fear are born from the repression of the death wish.
I have always considered imaginative truth to be more profound, more loaded with significance, than every day reality... Everything we dream about, and by that I mean everything we desire, is true (the myth of Icarus came before aviation, and if Ader or Bleriot started flying it is because all men have dreamed of flight). There is nothing truer than myth... Reality does not have to be: it is simply what is.