Famous Quotes & Sayings

Pierre Bayard Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 19 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Pierre Bayard.

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Famous Quotes By Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 1548792

As may be seen, there is only one sensible piece of advice to give to those who find themselves having to talk to an author about one of his books without having read it: praise it without going into detail. An author does not expect a summary or a rational analysis of his book and would even prefer you not to attempt such a thing. He expects only that, while maintaining the greatest possible degree of ambiguity, you will tell him you like what he wrote. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 1733208

Criticism demands infinitely more culture than artistic creation. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 495468

[ ... ] there exists around the written world opened by the work a multitude of other possible worlds, which we can complete by means of our images and our words. Denying oneself this work of completion in the name of some hypothetical fidelity to the work is bound to fail: we can indeed reject filling these gaps in a conscious way, but we cannot prevent our unconscious from finishing the work, according to its priorities and those of the era in which it was written. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 2077789

[ ... ] a given text may seem fictional or actual depending on the context in which we encounter it. The same is true for oral performances. [Thomas] Pavel takes the example of a theatrical scene wherein an actor mimics the gestures of a priest and pretends to bless the audience. There is nothing effective about this blessing in most contexts, but it can become effective in certain circumstances: imagine, for example, a dictatorship in which religion is banned and in which a theater audience, having kept the old faith, experiences the actor's gesture as authentic, transforming this fictional scene in a scene of real life. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 1517193

Like language, books serve to express us, but also to complete us, furnishing, through a variety of excerpted and reworked fragments, the missing elements of our personality. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 1130373

Non-reading is not just the absence of reading. It is a genuine activity, one that consists of adopting a stance in relation to the immense tide of books that protects you from drowning. On that basis, it deserves to be defended and even taught. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 2058443

It is the reader who comes to complete the work and to close, albeit temporarily, the world that it opens, and the reader does this in a different way every time. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 2046435

The books we love offer a sketch of a whole universe that we secretly inhabit, and in which we desire the other person to assume a role.
One of the conditions of happy romantic compatibility is, if not to have read the same books, to have read at least some books in common with the other person - which means, moreover, to have non-read the same books. From the beginning of the relationship, then, it is crucial to show that we can match the expectations of our beloved by making him or her sense the proximity of our inner libraries. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 1776388

Our relationship with literary characters, at least to those that exercise a certain attraction over us, rests in fact on a denial. We know perfectly well, on a conscious level, that these characters "do not exist," or in any case do not exist in the same way as do the inhabitants of the real world. But things manifest in an entirely different way on the unconscious level, which is interested not in the ontological differences between worlds but in the effect they produce on the psyche.
Every psychoanalyst knows how deeply a subject can be influenced, and even shaped, sometimes to the point of tragedy, by a fictional character and the sense of identification it gives rise to. This remark must first of all be understood as a reminder that we ourselves are usually fictional characters for other people [ ... ] — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 1177596

if you want to be able to talk about a place, the best thing to do is stay at home. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 1163574

Reading is first and foremost non-reading. Even in the case of the most passionate lifelong readers, the act of picking up and opening a book masks the countergesture that occurs at the same time: the involuntary act of *not* picking up and *not* opening all the other books in the universe. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 298444

The paradox of reading is that the path toward ourselves passes through books, but that this must remain a passage. It is a traversal of books that a good reader engages in - a reader who knows that every book is the bearer of part of himself and can give him access to it, if only he has the wisdom to not end his journey there. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 1112127

(in which, along with Montaigne, we raise the question of whether a book you have read and completely forgotten, and which you have even forgotten you have read, is still a book you have read) — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 888079

There is more than one way not to read, the most radical of which is not to open a book at all. For any given reader, however dedicated he might be, such total abstention necessarily holds true for virtually everything that has been published, and thus in fact this constitutes our primary way of relating to books. We must not forget that even a prodigious reader never has access to more than an infinitesimal fraction of the books that exist. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 763946

A great number of elements in the characters' lives, both psychic and factual, are not communicated to us. [ ... ] These characters, I believe, enjoy a much greater autonomy than we usually think, and are able to take initiatives unknown both to the writer and the reader. When characters have their own will, their own autonomy, it gives the literary universe a greater internal mobility; it also makes the texts through which we view this world all the more open and incomplete. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 671943

When we talk about books ... we are talking about our approximate recollections of books ... What we preserve of the books we read - whether we take notes or not, and even if we sincerely believe we remember them faithfully - is in truth no more than a few fragments afloat, like so many islands, on an ocean of oblivion ... We do not retain in memory complete books identical to the books remembered by everyone else, but rather fragments surviving from partial readings, frequently fused together and further recast by our private fantasies. ... What we take to be the books we have read is in fact an anomalous accumulation of fragments of texts, reworked by our imagination and unrelated to the books of others, even if these books are materially identical to ones we have held in our hands. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 658373

The title of the work, its place in the collective library, the nature of the person who tells us about it, the atmosphere established in the written or spoken exhange, among many other instances, offer alternatives to the book itself that allow us to talk about ourselves without dwelling upon the work too closely. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 419536

To speak without shame about books we haven't read, we would thus do well to free ourselves of the oppressive image of cultural literacy without gaps, as transmitted and imposed by family and school, for we can strive toward this image for a lifetime without ever managing to coincide with it. — Pierre Bayard

Pierre Bayard Quotes 346256

What we are able to say about our intimate relation with a book will have more force if we have not thought about it excessively. Instead, we need only let our unconscious express itself within us and give voice, in this privileged moment of openness in language, to the secret ties that bind us to the book, and therefore to ourselves. — Pierre Bayard