Remy de Gourmont

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Remy de Gourmont

Remy de Gourmont (April 4, 1858September 27, 1915) was a French Symbolist poet, novelist, and influential critic.



Le Problème du Style (1902)

  • All poetry is an affair of the body, that is, to be real, it must affect the body.
  • We write as we feel, as we think, with our entire body.
  • Literary style is the product of the toal phyisology.

A Virgin Heart (trans. 1922)

  • Grace from on high so opportunely purifies the petty human passions.
  • Innocence has its instincts, its needs, its physiological dues.
    • Preface to A Virgin Heart
  • Time does not live for them, they (girls) live in the absolute. A curious creature. But then all women are curious creatures, girls above all.
  • Women are complex, of course not more so than men, but in a different way that men cannot understand.
  • Women don't understand themselves and what is more they do not care about understanding.
  • Women feel and it suffices to steer them satisfactorily through life as well as to solve problems which leave men utterly helpless. It is only through feelings one can get in contact with them. There is but one way of understanding women and that is to love them.
  • Women live entirely in the present, men much more in the future where nature is less well organized.
  • Making mental sermons, can spoil delicious moments.
  • The decisive gestures in life are almost always the simplest, the most ingenuous.
  • Sex is an absinthe whose strength only the strong can stand. In both sexes there are two successive crises, the sexual and the sensual. The first comes at a fixed period … the second generally coincides with the completion of growth. Sometimes, when decline is beginning, a third occurs, which like the first brings with it a condition of sentimentality.
    • A Virgin Heart (trans. Aldous Huxley), Musson Books, Toronto 1922


  • Art must break the chains, all rules and formulas.
    • L'Idealisme esaay in Le Chemin de Velours 1902
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