Jules-Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly

Literary Birthday – 2 November – Jules-Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly

Jules-Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly was born 2 November 1808, and died 23 April 1889.

Nine Quotes

  1. For in Paris, whenever God puts a pretty woman there (the streets), the Devil, in reply, immediately puts a fool to keep her.
  2. For a decadent like Baudelaire the only possible ends are suicide or the foot of the cross.
  3. In Paris, where raillery is so quick to throw emotion out the window, silence, in a roomful of clever people after a story, is the most flattering of all marks of success.
  4. The artist’s morality lies in the force and truth of his description.
  5. Happy men are grave. They carry their happiness cautiously, as they would a glass filled to the brim which the slightest movement could cause to spill over, or break.
  6. Extreme civilisation robs crime of its frightful poetry, and prevents the writer from restoring it. That would be too dreadful, say those good souls who want everything to be prettified, even the horrible.
  7. In the name of philanthropy, imbecile criminologists reduce the punishment, and inept moralists the crime, and what is more they reduce the crime only in order to reduce the punishment.
  8. Yet the crimes of extreme civilisation are undoubtedly more atrocious than those of extreme barbarism, by virtue of their refinement, of the corruption they imply and of their superior degree of intellectualism.
  9. I did not want to be taken for a fool – the typical French reason for performing the worst of deeds without remorse.

Jules-Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly was a French novelist and short story writer. He specialised in tales of mystery that explored hidden motivation and hinted at evil. He influenced writers like Henry James and Marcel Proust.

Source for Image


Émile Lévy, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 2nd November 2013