Romain Rolland

From Quotes
Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.
Bertrand Russell
Jump to: navigation, search

Romain Rolland (January 29, 1866 - December 30, 1944) was a French writer who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915 after the publication of his major work, Jean-Christophe.

Sourced

The true Vedantic spirit does not start out with a system of preconceived ideas.
  • I find war detestable but those who praise it without participating in it even more so.
    • Inter arma Caritas, Journal de Genève (30 October 1914)
  • If there is one place on the face of the earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India....For more than 30 centuries, the tree of vision, with all its thousand branches and their millions of twigs, has sprung from this torrid land, the burning womb of the Gods. It renews itself tirelessly showing no signs of decay.
    • Life of Ramakrishna (1929)
One makes mistakes; that is life. But it is never a mistake to have loved.
  • The true Vedantic spirit does not start out with a system of preconceived ideas. It possesses absolute liberty and unrivalled courage among religions with regard to the facts to be observed and the diverse hypotheses it has laid down for their coordination. Never having been hampered by a priestly order, each man has been entirely free to search wherever he pleased for the spiritual explanation of the spectacle of the universe.
    • Life of Vivekananda (1944)
  • I know at last what distinguishes man from animals; financial worries.
    • As quoted in The Anchor Book of French quotations, with English Translations (1963) by Norbert Guterman
  • In politics, he has always been a republican with advanced Socialist sympathies, and internationalist at heart, and, as they said in the eighteenth century, a "citizen of the world." He has always fought social injustice. In art, he loves, above all, Beethoven, Shakespeare, and Goethe... Rembrandt is the painter dearest to him. But his chosen country is Italy.
    • On himself, as quoted in World Authors 1900-1950 (1996)
  • One makes mistakes; that is life. But it is never a mistake to have loved.
    • As quoted in On Relationships: A Book for Teenagers (1999) by Kimberly Kirberger

Jean-Christophe (1904 - 1912)

As translated by Gilbert Cannan (1913)
It is the artist's business to create sunshine when the sun fails.
I, too, shall wake again.
  • It is the artist's business to create sunshine when the sun fails.
    • "The Market-Place" Part I
  • Be reverent before the dawning day. Do not think of what will be in a year, or in ten years. Think of to-day. Leave your theories. All theories, you see, even those of virtue, are bad, foolish, mischievous. Do not abuse life. Live in to-day. Be reverent towards each day. Love it, respect it, do not sully it, do not hinder it from coming to flower. Love it even when it is gray and sad like to-day. Do not be anxious. See. It is winter now. Everything is asleep. The good earth will awake again. You have only to be good and patient like the earth. Be reverent. Wait. If you are good, all will go well. If you are not, if you are weak, if you do not succeed, well, you must be happy in that. No doubt it is the best you can do. So, then, why will? Why be angry because of what you cannot do? We all have to do what we can. . . . Als ich kann."
    • Gottfried to Jean-Christophe in "Youth" Part 3 : Ada
  • You are a vain fellow. You want to be a hero. That is why you do such silly things. A hero! ... I don't quite know what that is: but, you see, I imagine that a hero is a man who does what he can. The others do not do it.
    • Gottfried to Jean-Christophe in "Youth" Part 3 : Ada
  • I, too, shall wake again.
    • Jean-Christophe to himself in "Youth" Part 3 : Ada

Journey Within (1947)

  • Never do I hesitate to look squarely at the unexpected face that every passing hour unveils to us, and to sacrifice the false images of it formed in advance, however dear they may be. In me, the love of life in general predominates over love of my own life (that, indeed, would never have sufficed to bear me up). May life herself speak! However inadequate I may be in listening to her, and in repeating her words, I shall try to record them, even if they contradict my most secret desires. In all that I write, may her will, not mine, be done!
    • Invitation to the Journey
  • No one ever reads a book. He reads himself through books, either to discover or to control himself. And the most objective books are the most deceptive. The greatest book is not the one whose message engraves itself on the brain, as a telegraphic message engraves itself on the ticker-tape, but the one whose vital impact opens up other viewpoints, and from writer to reader spreads the fire that is fed by the various essences, until it becomes a vast conflagration leaping from forest to forest.
    • Ch. 2 : The Three Revelations

Unsourced

  • Skepticism, riddling the faith of yesterday, prepared the way for the faith of tomorrow.
  • Let us return to our eagle's nest in the Himalayas. It is waiting for us, for it is ours, eaglets of Europe, we need not renounce any part of our real nature...whence we formerly took our flight.
  • Religious faith in the case of the Hindus has never been allowed to run counter to scientific laws, moreover the former is never made a condition for the knowledge they teach, but there are always scrupulously careful to take into consideration the possibility that by reason both the agnostic and atheist may attain truth in their own way. Such tolerance may be surprising to religious believers in the West, but it is an integral part of Vedantic belief.
  • The greatest human ideal is the great cause of bringing together the thoughts of Europe and Asia; the great soul of India will topple our world.
  • The vast and tranquil metaphysics of India is unfolded; her conception of the universe, her social organization, perfect in its day and still capable of adaptation to the demands of modern times; the solution which she offers for the feminist problem, for the problems of the family, of love, of marriage; and lastly, the magnificent revelation of her art. The whole vast soul of India proclaims from end to end of its crowded and well ordered edifice the same domination of a sovereign synthesis. There is no negation. All is harmonized. All the forces of life are grouped like a forest, whose thousand waving arms are led by Nataraja, the master of the Dance. Everything has its place, every being has its function, and all take part in the divine concert, their different voices, and their very dissonances, creating, in the phrase of Heraclitus, a most beautiful harmony. Whereas in the West, cold, hard logic isolates the unusual, shutting it off from the rest of life into a definite and distinct compartment of the spirit. India, ever mindful of the natural differences in souls and in philosophies, endeavors to blend them into each other, so as to recreate in its fullest perfection the complete unity. The matching of opposites produces the true rhythm of life.
  • Of course, this entire fabric of Indian life stands solidly on faith, that is to say, on a slender and emotional hypothesis. But amid all the beliefs of Europe, and of Asia, that of the Indian Brahmins seems to me infinitely the most alluring. And the reason why I love the Brahmin more than the other schools of Asiatic thought is because it seems to me to contain them all. Greater than all European philosophies, it is even capable of adjusting itself to the vast hypotheses of modern science. Our Christian religions have tried in vain, when there were no other choice open to them, to adapt themselves to the progress of science. But after having allowed myself to be swept away by the powerful rhythm of Brahmin thought, along the curve or life, with its movement of alternating ascent and return, I come back to my own century, and while finding therein the immense projections of a new cosmogony, offspring of the genius of Einstein, or deriving freely from the discoveries, I yet do not feel that I enter a strange land. I yet can hear resounding still the cosmic symphony of all those planets which forever succeed each other, are extinguished and once more illumined, with their living souls, their humanities, their gods – according to the laws of the eternal To Become, the Brahmin Samsara – I hear Siva dancing, dancing in the heart of the world, in my own heart.
  • In the great philosophy of Brahma, such violent turns of the scale are quite unknown. It embraces vast stretches of time, cycles of human ages, whose successive lives gravitate in concentric circles, and travel ever slowly towards the center....

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about: