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JEAN COCTEAU
French poet, dramatist, screenwriter, and novelist
(1889 - 1963)

A film is a petrified garden of thought.
      - [Movies]

An artist cannot speak about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture.
      - [Artists]

Art is not a pastime but a priesthood.
      - [Art]

Emotion resulting from a work of art is only of value when it is not obtained by sentimental blackmail.
      - [Emotion]

Life is a horizontal fall.
      - [Life]

Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images.
      - [Reflection]

Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.
      - [Style]

Tact consists in knowing how far to go too far.
      - [Tact]

Take the commonplace, clean and polish it, light it so that it produces the same effect of youth and freshness and spontaneity as it did originally, and you have done a poet's job.
      - [Poetry]

The composer opens the cage door for arithmetic, the draftsman gives geometry its freedom.
      - [Geometry]

The instinct of nearly all societies is to lock up anybody who is truly free. First, society begins by trying to beat you up. If this fails, they try to poison you. If this fails too, the finish by loading honors on your head.
      - [Society]

The public only takes up yesterday as a stick to beat today.
      - [Criticism]


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