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Flight to Arras

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Top 10 Best Quotes

“No single event can awaken within us a stranger whose existence we had never suspected. To live is to be slowly born.”

“Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit.”

“Life always bursts the boundaries of formulas. Defeat may prove to have been the only path to resurrection, despite its ugliness. I take it for granted that to create a tree I condemn a seed to rot. If the first act of resistance comes too late it is doomed to defeat. But it is, nevertheless, the awakening of resistance. Life may grow from it as from a seed.”

“To live is to be born slowly. it would be a little too easy to borrow ready-made souls!”

“Not a single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born. It would be a bit too easy if we could go about borrowing ready-made souls.”

“For love is greater than any wind of words. And man, leaning at his window under the stars, is once again responsible for the bread of the day to come, for the slumber of the wife who lies by his side, all fragile and delicate and contingent. Love is not thinking, but being. As I sat facing Alias I longed for night, when my thoughts would be of civilization, of the destiny of man, of the savor of friendship in my native land. For night, so that I might yearn to serve some overwhelming purpose which at this moment I cannot define. For night, so that I might perhaps advance a step towards fixing my unmanageable language. I longed for the night as the poet might do, the true poet who feels himself inhabited by a thing obscure but powerful, and who strives to erect images like ramparts round that thing in order to capture it. To capture it in a snare of images.”

“The course of a man's destiny can seem sharply altered by a sudden illumination. But illumination is no more than the Spirit's sudden vision of a road that is long prepared. Gradually I learned grammar. I practiced syntax. My feelings were awakened. Then a poem suddenly blazed in my heart.”

“For after all, why do we go on fighting? If we die for democracy then we must be one of the democracies. Let the rest fight with us, if that is the case. But the most powerful of them, the only one that could save us, chooses to bide its time. Very good. That is its right. But by so doing, that democracy signifies that we are fighting for ourselves alone. And we go on fighting despite the assurance that we have lost the war. Why, then, do we go on dying? Out of despair? But there is no despair. You know nothing about defeat if you think there is room in it for despair. There is a verity that is higher than the pronouncements of the intelligence. There is a thing which pierces and governs us and which cannot be grasped by the intelligence. A tree has no language. We are a tree. There are truths which are evident, though not to be put into words. I do not die in order to obstruct the path of the invasion, for there is no shelter upon which I can fall back with those I love. I do not die to preserve my honor, since I deny that my honor is at stake, and I challenge the jurisdiction of my judge. Nor do I die out of desperation.”

“I know the meaning of humility. It is not self-disparagement. It is the motive power of action. If, intending to absolve myself, I plead fate as the excuse for my misfortunes, I subject myself to fate. If I plead treason as their excuse, I subject myself to treason. But if I accept responsibility, I affirm my strength as a man. I am able to influence that of which I form part. I declare myself a constituent part of the community of mankind.”

“Man is a knot into which relationships are tied, and my ties serve me hardly at all. What is this me that has broken down? What is the secret of substitutions? Whence comes is that gesture, a word, can give rise to endless ripples in a human destiny? Whence comes it that in other circumstances I should be overwhelmed by what seems to me now remote and abstract?”

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Book Keywords:

trees, humility, inspirational, defeat, resistance, france, responsibility, existence, life, seeds, war, philosophy, despair, logic, arras, enemy, mankind, plane

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