Henrik Ibsen citations

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Henrik Ibsen

Date de naissance: 20. mars 1828
Date de décès: 23. mai 1906
Autres noms:Henrik Johan Ibsen

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Henrik Johan Ibsen est un dramaturge norvégien.

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Citations Henrik Ibsen

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„But our home's been nothing but a playpen. I've been your doll-wife here, just as at home I was Papa's doll-child.“

—  Henrik Ibsen
Context: But our home's been nothing but a playpen. I've been your doll-wife here, just as at home I was Papa's doll-child. And in turn the children have been my dolls. I thought it fun when you played with me, just as they thought it fun when I played with them. That's been our marriage, Torvald. Nora Helmer, Act III Variant translation: Our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was papa's doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls. I thought it great fun when you played with me, just as they thought it great fun when I played with them. That is what our marriage has been, Torvald.

„There must be ghosts all over the world. They must be as countless as the grains of the sands, it seems to me. And we are so miserably afraid of the light, all of us.“

—  Henrik Ibsen
Context: I am half inclined to think we are all ghosts, Mr. Manders. It is not only what we have inherited from our fathers and mothers that exists again in us, but all sorts of old dead ideas and all kinds of old dead beliefs and things of that kind. They are not actually alive in us; but there they are dormant, all the same, and we can never be rid of them. Whenever I take up a newspaper and read it, I fancy I see ghosts creeping between the lines. There must be ghosts all over the world. They must be as countless as the grains of the sands, it seems to me. And we are so miserably afraid of the light, all of us. Mrs. Alving, Act II

„I thank God that in the bath of Pain
He purged my love.“

—  Henrik Ibsen
Context: I thank God that in the bath of Pain He purged my love. What strong compulsion drew Me on I knew not, till I saw in you The treasure I had blindly sought in vain. I praise Him, who our love has lifted thus To noble rank by sorrow, — licensed us To a triumphal progress, bade us sweep Thro' fen and forest to our castle-keep, A noble pair, astride on Pegasus! Falk, Act III

„Now this very contentedness in the possession of a dead liberty is characteristic of the so-called State, and, as I have said, it is not a good characteristic.“

—  Henrik Ibsen
Context: He who possesses liberty otherwise than as an aspiration possesses it soulless, dead. One of the qualities of liberty is that, as long as it is being striven after, it goes on expanding. Therefore, the man who stands still in the midst of the struggle and says, "I have it," merely shows by so doing that he has just lost it. Now this very contentedness in the possession of a dead liberty is characteristic of the so-called State, and, as I have said, it is not a good characteristic. No doubt the franchise, self-taxation, etc., are benefits — but to whom? To the citizen, not to the individual. Now, reason does not imperatively demand that the individual should be a citizen. Far from it. The State is the curse of the individual. With what is Prussia's political strength bought? With the absorption of the individual in the political and geographical idea. The waiter is the best soldier. And on the other hand, take the Jewish people, the aristocracy of the human race — how is it they have kept their place apart, their poetical halo, amid surroundings of coarse cruelty? By having no State to burden them. Had they remained in Palestine, they would long ago have lost their individuality in the process of their State's construction, like all other nations. Away with the State! I will take part in that revolution. Undermine the whole conception of a State, declare free choice and spiritual kinship to be the only all-important conditions of any union, and you will have the commencement of a liberty that is worth something. Changes in forms of government are pettifogging affairs — a degree less or a degree more, mere foolishness. The State has its root in time, and will ripe and rot in time. Greater things than it will fall — religion, for example. Neither moral conceptions nor art-forms have an eternity before them. How much are we really in duty bound to pin our faith to? Who will guarantee me that on Jupiter two and two do not make five? Letter to Georg Brandes (17 February 1871), as translated in Henrik Ibsen : Björnstjerne Björnson. Critical Studies (1899) by Georg Morris Cohen Brandes Variant translation: The quality of liberty is that, as long as it is being striven after, it goes on expanding. Therefore, the man who stands still in the midst of the struggle and says: "I have it," merely shows by so doing that he has lost it. Now this very contentedness in the possession of a dead liberty is a characteristic of the so-called state; and it is worthless. As translated in Ibsen : The Man, His Art & His Significance (1907) by Haldane Macfall, p. 238 Variant translation: Neither moral concepts nor art forms can expect to live forever. How much are we obliged to hold on to? Who can guarantee that 2 plus 2 don't add up to 5 on Jupiter?

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„A thousand words can't
make the mark a single deed will leave.“

—  Henrik Ibsen
Context: A thousand words can't make the mark a single deed will leave. Manden, Act II

„To live is to battle the demons
in the heart as well as the brain.
To write is to preside at
judgement day over one's self.“

—  Henrik Ibsen
Context: To live is to battle the demons in the heart as well as the brain. To write is to preside at judgement day over one's self. Et vers (A Verse), inscribed on the volume Poems (1877) Ibsen may have written this originally in German http://www.ibsen.net/index.gan?id=110602&subid=0 as a dedication to a female reader. It was published in German in Deutsche Rundschau in November 1886:

„I am half inclined to think we are all ghosts, Mr. Manders. It is not only what we have inherited from our fathers and mothers that exists again in us, but all sorts of old dead ideas and all kinds of old dead beliefs and things of that kind.“

—  Henrik Ibsen
Context: I am half inclined to think we are all ghosts, Mr. Manders. It is not only what we have inherited from our fathers and mothers that exists again in us, but all sorts of old dead ideas and all kinds of old dead beliefs and things of that kind. They are not actually alive in us; but there they are dormant, all the same, and we can never be rid of them. Whenever I take up a newspaper and read it, I fancy I see ghosts creeping between the lines. There must be ghosts all over the world. They must be as countless as the grains of the sands, it seems to me. And we are so miserably afraid of the light, all of us. Mrs. Alving, Act II

„I believe that first and foremost I am an individual, just as you are.“

—  Henrik Ibsen
Context: Helmer: First and foremost, you are a wife and mother. Nora: That I don't believe any more. I believe that first and foremost I am an individual, just as you are.

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„The State has its root in time, and will ripe and rot in time.“

—  Henrik Ibsen
Context: He who possesses liberty otherwise than as an aspiration possesses it soulless, dead. One of the qualities of liberty is that, as long as it is being striven after, it goes on expanding. Therefore, the man who stands still in the midst of the struggle and says, "I have it," merely shows by so doing that he has just lost it. Now this very contentedness in the possession of a dead liberty is characteristic of the so-called State, and, as I have said, it is not a good characteristic. No doubt the franchise, self-taxation, etc., are benefits — but to whom? To the citizen, not to the individual. Now, reason does not imperatively demand that the individual should be a citizen. Far from it. The State is the curse of the individual. With what is Prussia's political strength bought? With the absorption of the individual in the political and geographical idea. The waiter is the best soldier. And on the other hand, take the Jewish people, the aristocracy of the human race — how is it they have kept their place apart, their poetical halo, amid surroundings of coarse cruelty? By having no State to burden them. Had they remained in Palestine, they would long ago have lost their individuality in the process of their State's construction, like all other nations. Away with the State! I will take part in that revolution. Undermine the whole conception of a State, declare free choice and spiritual kinship to be the only all-important conditions of any union, and you will have the commencement of a liberty that is worth something. Changes in forms of government are pettifogging affairs — a degree less or a degree more, mere foolishness. The State has its root in time, and will ripe and rot in time. Greater things than it will fall — religion, for example. Neither moral conceptions nor art-forms have an eternity before them. How much are we really in duty bound to pin our faith to? Who will guarantee me that on Jupiter two and two do not make five? Letter to Georg Brandes (17 February 1871), as translated in Henrik Ibsen : Björnstjerne Björnson. Critical Studies (1899) by Georg Morris Cohen Brandes Variant translation: The quality of liberty is that, as long as it is being striven after, it goes on expanding. Therefore, the man who stands still in the midst of the struggle and says: "I have it," merely shows by so doing that he has lost it. Now this very contentedness in the possession of a dead liberty is a characteristic of the so-called state; and it is worthless. As translated in Ibsen : The Man, His Art & His Significance (1907) by Haldane Macfall, p. 238 Variant translation: Neither moral concepts nor art forms can expect to live forever. How much are we obliged to hold on to? Who can guarantee that 2 plus 2 don't add up to 5 on Jupiter?

„If I'm ever to reach any understanding of myself and the things around me, I must learn to stand alone.“

—  Henrik Ibsen
Context: If I'm ever to reach any understanding of myself and the things around me, I must learn to stand alone. That's why I can't stay here with you any longer. Nora Helmer, Act III

„That power which circumstances placed in my hands, and which is an emanation of divinity, I am conscious of having used to the best of my skill. I have never wittingly wronged any one.“

—  Henrik Ibsen
Context: That power which circumstances placed in my hands, and which is an emanation of divinity, I am conscious of having used to the best of my skill. I have never wittingly wronged any one. For this campaign there were good and sufficient reasons; and if some should think that I have not fulfilled all expectations, they ought in justice to reflect that there is a mysterious power without us, which in a great measure governs the issue of human undertakings. The Emperor Julian, as portrayed in Emperor and Galilean (1873).

„Oh courage...oh yes! If only one had that...Then life might be livable, in spite of everything.“

—  Henrik Ibsen
Context: Oh courage... oh yes! If only one had that... Then life might be livable, in spite of everything. Hedda, Act II

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