The Nobel Prize in Literature 1921
Novelist, storyteller; almost all genres. Nobility of style, profound human sympathy, true Gallic temperament. Historical fiction evokes past civilizations with great charm, deep insight.
Post-World War I. At Nobel ceremony Frenchman France turned to Nobelist, German Nernst, exchanged a long and cordial handshake with him - a profoundly symbolic gesture.
- We reproach people for talking about themselves; but it is the subject they treat best.
- People who have no weaknesses are terrible; there is no way of taking advantage of them.
- Those who have given themselves the most concern about the happiness of peoples have made their neighbors very miserable.
- It is human nature to think wisely and act in an absurd fashion.
- It is by acts and not by ideas that people live.
- That man is prudent who neither hopes nor fears anything from the uncertain events of the future.
- For the majority of people, though they do not know what to do with this life, long for another that shall have no end.
- To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
- All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
- I thank fate for having made me born poor. Poverty taught me the true value of the gifts useful to life.
- Lovers who love truly do not write down their happiness.
- It is well for the heart to be naive and the mind not to be.
- Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.
- Innocence most often is a good fortune and not a virtue.
- The greatest virtue of man is perhaps curiosity.
- Suffering - how divine it is, how misunderstood! We owe to it all that is good in us, all that gives value to life; we owe to it pity, we owe to it courage, we owe to it all the virtues
- You become a good writer just as you become a good joiner: by planing down your sentences.
- Your hearts are pure and your hands are innocent, and the truth will easily enter into your souls.
- Those who produced the things necessary for life, wanted them; those who did not produce them had more than enough.
- Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.
- Irony is the gaiety of reflection and the joy of wisdom.
- Jealousy is a virtue of democracies which preserves them from tyrants.
- The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.
- An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't.
- Nine tenths of education is encouragement.
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Name: Anatole France (pen-name of Jacques Anatole Thibault)
Birth: 16 April 1844, Paris, France
Death: 12 October 1924, Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, France
Residence at the time of the award: France
Prize motivation: "in recognition of his brilliant literary achievements, characterized as they are by a nobility of style, a profound human sympathy, grace, and a true Gallic temperament"