Famous Quotes & Sayings

Jean Rhys Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Jean Rhys.

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Jean Rhys Quotes 767370

They touch life with gloves on. They're pretending about something all the time. Pretending quite nice and decent things, of course. But still ... '
'Everybody pretends,' Marya was thinking. 'French people pretend every bit as much, only about different things and not so obviously. She'll know that when she's been here as long as I have. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1833823

Let's say that you have this mystical right to cut my legs off. But the right to ridicule me afterwards because I am a cripple - no, that I think you haven't got. And that's the right you hold most dearly, isn't it? You must be able to despise the people you exploit. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 923159

But why do you want to talk to me?'
He is going to say: 'Because you look so kind,' or 'Because you look so beautiful and kind,' or, subtly, 'Because you look as if you'll understand ... '
He says: 'Because I think you won't betray me.'
I had meant to get this mean to talk to me and tell me all about it, and then be so devastatingly English that perhaps I should manage to hurt him a little in return for all the many times I've been hurt ... 'Because I think you won't betray me, because I think you won't betray me ... ' Now it won't be so easy. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 563520

I want more of this feeling - fire and wings. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 2184737

I am the only real truth I know. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1816516

But they left their treasure, gold and more gold. Some of it is found- but the finders never tell, because you see they'd only get one-third then: that's the law of treasure. They want it all, so never speak of it. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 952095

When I was excited about life, I didn't want to write at all. I've never written when I was happy. I didn't want to. But I've never had a long period of being happy, Do you think anyone has? I think you can be peaceful for a long time, When I think about it, if I had to choose, I'd rather be happy than write. You see, there's very little invention in my books. What came first with most of them was the wish to get rid of this awful sadness that weighed me down . I found when I was a child that if I could put the hurt into words, it would go. It leaves a sort of melancholy behind and then it goes. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1806664

Why did you love her?'
'Well,' I say, 'what a question, anyway!'
How on earth can you say why you love people? You might as well say you know where the lightning is going to strike. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1708808

I wanted it-like iron. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 2257254

He had discovered that people who allow themselves to be blown about by the winds of emotion and impulse are always unhappy people. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 2187322

I am empty of everything. I am empty of everything but the thin, frail ghosts in my room. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 807492

Would you like a whiskey?' I say. 'I've got some.'
(That's original. I bet nobody's ever thought of that way of bridging the gap before.) — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 238302

If I could choose I would rather be happy than write. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 822067

A room? A nice room? A beautiful room? A beautiful room with bath? Swing high, swing low, swing to and fro ... This happened and that happened ...
And then the days came and I was alone. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1676983

I sit at my window and the words fly past me like birds - with God's help I catch some. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1256652

Your husband certainly love money,' she said. 'That is no lie Money have pretty face for everybody, but for that man money pretty like pretty self, he can't see nothing else. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1772123

What I see is nothing - I want what it hides - that is not nothing. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 780914

....one of those long, romantic novels, six hundred and fifty pages of small print, translated from French or German or Hungarian or something -- because few of the English ones have the exact feeling I mean. And you read one page of it or even one phrase of it, and then you gobble up all the rest and go about in a dream for weeks afterwards, for months afterwards -- perhaps all your life, who knows? -- surrounded by those six hundred and fifty pages, the houses, the streets, the snow, the river, the roses, the girls, the sun, the ladies' dresses and the gentlemen's voices, the old, wicked, hard-hearted women and the old, sad women, the waltz music -- everything. What is not there you put in afterwards, for it is alive, this book, and it grows in your head. 'The house I was living in when I read that book,' you think, or 'This colour reminds me of that book. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1731835

Love was a terrible thing. You poisoned it and stabbed at it and knocked it down into the mud - well down - and it got up and staggered on, bleeding and muddy and awful. Like - like Rasputin. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1895366

When man don't love you, more you try, more he hate you, man like that. If you love them they treat you bad, if you don't love them they after you night and day bothering your soul case out. I hear about you and your husband,' she said.
'But I cannot go. He is my husband after all.'
She spat over her shoulder. 'All women, all colours, nothing but fools. Three children I have. One living in this world, each one a different father, but no husband, I thank my God. I keep my money. I don't give it to no worthless man.'
'When must I go, where must I go?'
'But look me trouble, a rich white girl like you and more foolish than the rest. A man don't treat you good, pick up your skirt and walk out. Do it and he come after you. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1108498

If this is a sad story, don't tell it to me tonight.'It is not sad,' she said. 'Only some things happen and are there for always even though you forget why or when. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 960472

As soon as I turned the key I saw it hanging, the color of fire and sunset. the colour of flamboyant flowers. 'If you are buried under a flamboyant tree, ' I said, 'your soul is lifted up when it flowers. Everyone wants that.'

She shook her head but she did not move or touch me. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 420489

It was the darkness that got you. It was heavy darkness, greasy and compelling. It made walls round you, and shut you in so that you felt like you could not breathe. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 532772

Before I could read, almost a baby, I imagined that God, this strange thing or person I heard about, was a book. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 2133459

Do not be sad. Or think Adieu. Never Adieu. We will watch the sun set again - many times, and perhaps we'll see the Emerald Drop, the green flash that brings good fortune. And you must laugh and chatter as you used to do - telling me about the battle off the Saints or the picnic at Marie Galante - that famous picnic that turned into a fight. Or the pirates and what they did between voyages. For every voage might be their last. Sun and sangoree's a heady mixture. Then - the earthquake. Oh yes, people say that god was angry at the things they did, woke from his sleep, one breath and they were gone. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1807290

Everything tender and melancholy - as life is sometimes, just for one moment. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 130218

I found when I was a child that if I put the hurt into words, it would go. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1890413

The musty smell, the bugs, the lonliness, this room, which is part of the street outside-this is all I want from life. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 74836

I know all about myself now, I know. You've told me so often. You haven't left me one rag of illusion to clothe myself in. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 89849

They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 95138

Almost any book was better than life, Audrey thought. Or rather, life as she was living it. Of course, life would soon change, open out, become quite different. You couldn't go on if you didn't hope that, could you? But for the time being there was no doubt that it was pleasant to get away from it. And books could take her away. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 98764

Lies are never forgotten, they go on and they grow — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 114927

As for her, I'd forgotten her for the moment. So I shall never understand why, suddenly, bewilderingly, I was certain that everything I had imagined to be truth was false. False. Only the magic and the dream are true - all the rest's a lie. Let it go. Here is the secret. Here. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 155837

When I was out on the battlements it was cool and I could hardly hear them. I sat there quietly. I don't know how long I sat. Then I turned round and saw the sky. It was red and all my life was in it. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 182181

I must write. If I stop writing my life will have been an abject failure. It is that already to other people. But it could be an abject failure to myself. I will not have earned death. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 198754

There is no looking-glass here and I don't know what I am like now. I remember watching myself brush my hair and how my eyes looked back at me. The girl I saw was myself yet not quite myself. Long ago when I was a child and very lonely I tried to kiss her. But the glass was between us - hard, cold and misted over with my breath. Now they have taken everything away. What am I doing in this place and who am I? — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 198901

I thought if I told no one it might not be true. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 217873

That expression you get in your eyes when you are very tired and everything is like a dream and you are starting to know what things are like underneath what people say they are. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 300036

Stephan was secretive and a liar, but he was a very gentle and expert lover. She was the petted, cherished child, the desired mistress, the worshipped, perfumed goddess. She was all these things to Stephan - or so he made her believe. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 303012

Now at last I know why I was brought here and what I have to do. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 334001

She was certainly rather drunk. Her eyes were fixed as if upon some far-off point. She seemed to be contemplating a future at once monotonous and insecure with an indifference which was after all a sort of hard-won courage. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 334206

Very few people change after well say seven or seventeen. Not really. They get more this or more that and of course look a bit different. But inside they are the same. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 361376

When he talked his eyes went away from mine and then he forced himself to look straight at me and he began to explain and I knew that he felt very strange with me and that he hated me, and it was funny sitting there and talking like that, knowing he hated me. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 476136

This was the affair which had ended quietly and decently, without fuss or scenes or hysteria. When you were nineteen, and it was the first time you had been let down, you did not make scenes. You felt as if your back was broken, as if you would never move again. But you did not make a scene. That started later on, when the same thing had happened five or six times over, and you were supposed to be getting used to it. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 507890

All of writing is a huge lake. There are great rivers that feed the lake, like Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky. And then there are mere trickles, like Jean Rhys. All that matters is feeding the lake. I don't matter. The lake matters. You must keep feeding the lake. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 570936

I will write my name in fire red. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 575795

Only the magic and the dream are true - all the rest's a lie. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 601208

For the first time she had dimly realized that only the hopeless are starkly sincere and that only the unhappy can either give or take sympathy
even some of the bitter and dangerous voluptuousness of misery. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 627704

I like shape very much. A novel has to have shape, and life doesn't have any. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 630633

When trouble comes, close ranks — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 635280

He says: 'it doesn't matter. What I know is that I could do this with you' - he makes a movement with his hands like a baker, kneading a loaf of bread - 'and afterwards you'd be different. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 675699

She spent the foggy day in endless, aimless walking, for it seemed to her that if she moved quickly enough she would escape the fear that hunted her. It was a vague and shadowy fear of something cruel and stupid that had caught her and would never let her go. She had always known that it was there - hidden under the more of less pleasant surface of things. Always. Ever since she was a child.
You could argue about hunger or cold or loneliness, but with that fear you couldn't argue. It went too deep. You were too mysteriously sure of its terror. You could only walk very fast and try to leave it behind you. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 681266

Cold - cold as truth, cold as life. No, nothing can be as cold as life. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 682484

An anxious expression spread over his face as he thought to himself that the time was coming when he would have to give up this comfort, and then that comfort, until God knew what would be the end of it all. In this way he was an imaginative man, and when these fits of foreboding overcame him he genuinely forgot that only a succession of highly improbable catastrophes could reduce him to the penury he so feared. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 713917

My father old Cosway, with his white marble tablet in the English church at Spanish Town for all to see. It have a crest on it and a motto in Latin and words in big black letters. I never know such lies. [ ... ] "Pious", they write up. "Beloved by all." Not a word about the people he buy and sell like cattle. "Merciful to the weak", they write up. Mercy! [ ... ] I can still see that tablet before my eye because I go to look at it often. I know by heart all the lies they tell - no one stand up and say, Why you write lies in the church? — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 718713

There is no doubt that running away on a fresh, blue morning can be exhilarating. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 760959

I hated the mountains and the hills, the rivers and the rain. I hated the sunsets of whatever colour, I hated its beauty and its magic and the secret I would never know. I hated its indifference and the cruelty which was part of its loveliness. Above all I hated her. For she belonged to the magic and the loveliness. She had left me thirsty and all my life would be thirst and longing for what I had lost before I found it. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 772485

Of course she had some pathetic illusions about herself or she would not be able to go on living. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 792180

She watched through a slight mist a party of people who had just come into the restaurant, the movements of arms taking off overcoats, of legs in light-coloured stockings and fee in low-heeled shoes walking over the wooden floor to hide themselves under the tablecloths. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 814207

Well, that was the end of me, the real end. Two pound ten every Tuesday and a room of the Gray's Inn Road. Saved, rescued and with my place to hide in - what more did I want? I crept in and hid. The lid of the coffin shut down with a bang. Now I no longer wish to be loved, beautiful, happy or successful. I want one thing and one thing only - to be left alone. No more pawings, no more pryings - leave me alone. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 829602

He was still looking steadily at her. His eyes were clear, cool and hard, but something in the depths of them flickered and shifted. She thought: 'He'd take any advantage he could
fair or unfair. Caddish he is.' Then as she stared back at him she felt a great longing to put her head on his knees and shut her eyes. To stop thinking. Stop the little wheels in her head that worked incessantly. To give in and have a little peace. The unutterably sweet peace of giving in. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 891088

It's funny when you feel as if you don't want anything more in your life except to sleep, or else to lie without moving. That's when you can hear time sliding past you, like water running. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 931793

I have tried," I said, "but he does not believe me. It is too late for that now" (it is always too late for truth, I thought). — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 938467

There is always the other side, always. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 954314

Justice. I've heard that word. I tried it out. I wrote it down. I wrote it down several times and always it looked like a damn cold lie to me. There is no justice. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 963515

If all good, respectable people had one face, I'd spit in it. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1044633

How can I discover truth I thought and that thought led me nowhere. No one would tell me the truth. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1074368

THe room was large and low-ceilinged, the striped wallpaper faded to inoffensiveness. A huge dark wardrobe faced a huge dark bed. The rest of the furniture shrank away into corners, battered and apologetic. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1086818

Have all beautiful things sad destinies? — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1117437

When I saw him looking up like that I knew that I loved him, and that it was for always. It was as if my heart turned over, and I knew that it was for always. It's a strange feeling - when you know quite certainly in yourself that something is for always . It's like what death must be. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1173236

May you tear each other to bits, you damned hyenas, and the quicker the better. Let it be destroyed. Let it happen. Let it end, this cold insanity. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1195077

If I was bound for hell, let it be hell. No more false heavens. No more damned magic. You hate me and I hate you. We'll see who hates best. But first, first I will destroy your hatred. Now. My hate is colder, stronger, and you'll have no hate to warm yourself. You will have nothing. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1233870

Anything you like; anything I like ... No past to make us sentimental, no future to embarrass us — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1251155

When I think about it, if I had to choose, I'd rather be happy than write. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1287096

I think that the desire to be cruel and to hurt (with words because any other way might be dangerous to ourself) is part of human nature. Parties are battles (most parties), a conversation is a duel (often). Everybody's trying to hurt first, to get in the dig that will make him or her feel superior, feel triumph. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1348053

London is like a cold dark dream sometimes. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1357877

And I'll look back at him because I shan't be able to help it, remembering about being young, and about being made love to and making love, about pain and dancing and not being afraid of death, about all music I've ever loved, and every time I've been happy. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1380106

Lois doesn't want to be given away; she doesn't want anybody to know, and I assure you that that's all she cares about. Of course, she'll be furious if anybody knows, and that's why if you go off in a hurry you will make things difficult for me.'
She felt hypnotized as she listened to him, impotent. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1408400

...poverty is the cause of many compromises. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1428078

I would never be part of anything. I would never really belong anywhere, and I knew it, and all my life would be the same, trying to belong, and failing. Always something would go wrong. I am a stranger and I always will be, and after all I didn't really care. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1490657

I hadn't bargained for this. I didn't think it would be like this - shabby clothes, worn-out shoes, circles under your eyes, your hair getting straight and lanky, the way people look at you ... I didn't think it would be like this — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1511279

Now, money, for the night is coming. Money for my hair, money for my teeth, money for shoes that won't deform my feet (it's not so easy now to walk around in cheap shoes with very high heels), money for good clothes, money, money. The night is coming. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1518567

Do you think that too," she said, "that I have slept too long in the moonlight? — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1580276

You can pretend for a long time, but one day it all falls away and you are alone. We are alone in the most beautiful place in the world ... — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1642322

Her waist goes in , her hips come out, her long black hair is coiled into a smooth bun on the top of her round head. She is very restful to the tired eye. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1686010

It was as if a curtain had fallen, hiding everything I had ever known. It was almost like being born again. The colours were different, the smells different, the feeling things gave you right down inside yourself was different. Not just the difference between heat, cold; light, darkness; purple, grey. But a difference in the way I was frightened and the way I was happy. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1706940

Only seven or eight, and yet she knew so exactly how to be cruel and who it was safe to be cruel to. One must admire Nature.. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1744320

And what does anyone know about traitors, or why Judas did what he did? — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1764172

The rumble of the life outside was like the sound of the sea which was rising gradually around her. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1887853

When you are a child you are yourself and you know and see everything prophetically. And then suddenly something happens and you stop being yourself; you become what others force you to be. You lose your wisdom and your soul. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1894239

No past to make us sentimental, no future to embarrass us ... a difficult moment when you are out of practice - a moment that makes you go cold, cold and wary. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1900186

Quite like old times,' the room says. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1936229

Life if curious when reduced to its essentials — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 1945048

I watched her die many times. In my way, not in hers. In sunlight, in shadow, by moonlight, by candlelight. In the long afternoons when the house was empty. Only the sun was there to keep us company. We shut him out. And why not? Very soon she was as eager for what's called loving as I was - more lost and drowned afterwards. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 2065485

You are walking along a road peacefully. You trip. You fall into blackness. That's the past - or perhaps the future. And you know that there is no past, no future, there is only this blackness, changing faintly, slowly, but always the same. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 2111426

But they never last, the golden days. And it can be sad, the sun in the afternoon, can't it? Yes, it can be sad, the afternoon sun, sad and frightening. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 2135757

The last time you were happy about nothing; the first time you were afraid about nothing. Which came first? — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 2164172

The maid came in to light up and soon it would be time to go upstairs and change for dinner. I thought this woman one of the most fascinating I had ever seen. She had a long thin face, dead white, or powdered dead white. Her hair was black and lively under her cap, her eyes so small that the first time I saw her I thought she was blind. But wide open, they were the most astonishing blue, cornflower blue, no, more like sparks of blue fire. Then she would drop her eyelids and her face would go dead and lifeless again. I never tired of watching this transformation. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 2199488

I have been here five days. I have decided on a place to eat in at midday, a place to eat in at night, a place to have my drink in after dinner. I have arranged my little life. — Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys Quotes 2209560

That was when it was sad, when you lay awake at night and remembered things. That was when it was sad, when you stood by the bed and undressed, thinking, When he kisses me, shivers run up my back. I am hopeless, resigned, utterly happy. Is that me? I am bad, not good any longer, bad. That has no meaning, absolutely none. Just words. But something about the darkness of the streets has a meaning. — Jean Rhys