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Jules Renard

“Sometimes everything around me seems so diffuse, so tremulous, so little solid, that I imagine this world to be only the mirage of a world to come: its projection. We seem to be still far from the forest; and even though the great trees already cast their shadow over us, we still have a long journey to make before we walk under their branches.

We are ignorant of the Beyond because this ignorance is the condition sine qua non of our own life. Just as ice cannot know fire except by melting, by vanishing.”


Jules Renard, writing in his journal in 1887.

Read on: Part I and II of his brilliant, unread journals, which contain aphorisms ranging from, “If you want to please women, tell them the things you would not want other men to tell your wife,” to “There is false modesty, but there is no false pride,” and “In my church, there is no vaulting between me and the sky.”