Colette

French writer of novels about women (1873-1954)

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A happy childhood is poor preparation for human contacts.
But just as delicate fare does not stop you from craving for saveloys, so tried and exquisite friendship does not take away your taste for something new and dubious.
Can it be that chance has made me one of those women so immersed in one man that, whether they are barren or not, they carry with them to the grave the shriveled innocence of an old maid?
Girls usually have a paper m‚chÈ face on their wedding day.
I love my past, I love my present. I am not ashamed of what I have had, and I am not sad because I no longer have it.
In the matter of furnishing, I find a certain absence of ugliness far worse than ugliness.
It is wise to apply the oil of refined politeness to the mechanisms of friendship.
It's nothing to be born ugly. Sensibly, the ugly woman comes to terms with her ugliness and exploits it as a grace of nature. To become ugly means the beginning of a calamity, self-willed most of the time.
My true friends have always given me that supreme proof of devotion, a spontaneous aversion for the man I loved.
Researchers, with science as their authority, will be able to cut -- Animals up, alive, into small pieces, drop them from a great height to see if they are shattered by the fall, or deprive them of sleep for sixteen days and nights continuously for the purposes of an iniquitous monograph... Animal trust, undeserved faith, when at last will you turn away from us? Shall we never tire of deceiving, betraying, tormenting animals before they cease to trust us?
Smokers, male and female, inject and excuse idleness in their lives every time they light a cigarette.
The true traveler is he who goes on foot, and even then, he sits down a lot of the time.
The woman who thinks she is intelligent demands equal rights with men. A woman who is intelligent does not.
There are days when solitude, for someone my age, is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall.
Total absence of humor renders life impossible.

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