Friday, November 15, 2019 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Paul Bourget

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There is only one thing infamous in love, and that is a falsehood.
--
Ch. 5 "Countess Steno"

 
Paul Bourget

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I like photographing the people I love, the people I admire, the famous, and especially the infamous. My last infamous subject was the extreme right wing French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen. Even when I am not in sympathy with the person, I have to be in love with him or her while I'm doing their portrait. Le Pen adored me (at least until his photo ran alongside Hitler's in Le Monde), and we got on extremely well.

 
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Writers and artists can achieve more: they can CONQUER FALSEHOOD! In the struggle with falsehood art always did win and it always does win! Openly, irrefutably for everyone! Falsehood can hold out against much in this world, but not against art.
And no sooner will falsehood be dispersed than the nakedness of violence will be revealed in all its ugliness and violence, decrepit, will fall.

 
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
 

We shall be told: what can literature possibly do against the ruthless onslaught of open violence? But let us not forget that violence does not live alone and is not capable of living alone: it is necessarily interwoven with falsehood. Between them lies the most intimate, the deepest of natural bonds. Violence finds its only refuge in falsehood, falsehood its only support in violence. Any man who has once acclaimed violence as his METHOD must inexorably choose falsehood as his PRINCIPLE. At its birth violence acts openly and even with pride. But no sooner does it become strong, firmly established, than it senses the rarefaction of the air around it and it cannot continue to exist without descending into a fog of lies, clothing them in sweet talk. It does not always, not necessarily, openly throttle the throat, more often it demands from its subjects only an oath of allegiance to falsehood, only complicity in falsehood.

 
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
 

Cling to truth and it turns into falsehood. Understand falsehood and it turns into truth. Truth and falsehood are two sides of the same coin. Neither accept one nor reject the other.

 
Ryokan
 

Above all, avoid falsehood, every kind of falsehood, especially falseness to yourself. Watch over your own deceitfulness and look into it every hour, every minute.

 
Fyodor Dostoevsky
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