Malcolm de Chazal

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Malcolm de Chazal (12 September 19021 October 1981) was a Mauritian writer, painter, and visionary, known especially for his Sens-Plastique, a work consisting of several thousand aphorisms and pensées.




  • Ah is the shortest of human cries, Oh the longest. Man is born in an Ah and dies in an Oh, for birth is immediate and death is like an airplane taking off.
  • I am the owner of my shoulders, the tenant of my hips.
  • No matter how much leaves are fixed face to face they always look at each other aslant, whereas all fruits end up head-on however carelessly jumbled. A bunch of flowers is a house of colored cards. A heap of fruit is a hive of colored bees.
  • The flower has no weekday self, dressed as it always is in Sunday clothes.
  • The light would reach us more quickly in the morning and fade more slowly at night if the whole earth were divided into vast flower beds that called forth the light at dawn and clutched it longer at nightfall. Nature instituted summer for flowers long before man took summer over for his own uses.
  • Nothing is more certain than that war promotes science and increases comforts. Utopia may mean no more wars, but universal peace and plenty will never reign until at least one more war raises mankind to a plane of such comfort and ease that nobody on either side of a frontier can even imagine the possibility of resorting to arms. Comfort creates wars and comfort may someday end them.
  • We see a friend’s eye as one and indivisible. A stranger’s eye we take in part by part: the white, the iris, and the pupil.
  • Silence is a lawyer who pleads with his eyes.
  • A flowing river is an infinity of superimposed production belts.
  • The sunflower keeps its eye on the sun with its back turned to the shade. We die facing life with our backs to death, as if we were walking out of a room backwards.
  • Petals are a plant’s eardrum. Distant sounds make them quiver like the needle of a seismograph.
  • Like a hawk about to devour its prey, the wings of public opinion hover above the head of the judge. All the Court’s decisions are disguised and indirect forms of pleading at the bar of public opinion.
  • The diamond scintillates less brilliantly when the fingers move rapidly than when they undulate and pivot. Glossy leaves throw off less light in a high wind than under the calm wavering of a breeze. Brusque movements of the eye cast a single gleam, and slow movements add a thousand others.
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