Sándor Márai

Sándor Márai

Hungarian author
11 April 1900 — 21 February 1989

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Sin is not simply that which we commit. Sin is also what we desire but are too weak to do.

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There is no pain like the pain of knowing you love someone but cannot live with them.

In all true life there comes a moment when a man is so deep in passion, it is as if he had cast himself into the waters of Niagara without a life belt.

I don't believe in tears. Pain is silent and sheds no tears.

There are dizzying moments in life when we see everything clearly, when we are aware of our power and our potential, when we see what it is we have been too timid or cowardly to do. These are life’s decisive moments. They come to us unannounced, like death or conversion.

Love, true love, is always fatal. What I mean is, it does not aim at happiness, at an idyll, at a hand-in-hand eternity of sentimental walks under flowering lime trees, with a gentle light burning on the veranda behind, the house swimming in cool scents. Life can be that, but not love. Love burns with a fierce, more dangerous flame. One day you discover a desire in yourself to encounter this all-consuming passion.

Behind every kiss looms the secret desire for annihilation, for an ultimate happiness that is no longer in the mood for argument but knows that to be happy is to cease entirely and surrender to feeling.

You don’t need eyes to see what is yours.

Inspired ideas are not to be repeated. They quickly wear out and lose their magic.

Love is the fiercest kind of selfishness.

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