dramatist, novelist, essayist, art historian and mystic
who was awarded the Nobel Prize
for Literature in 1915.
Rolland was born in Clamecy, Nièvre
to a family that had both wealthy townspeople and farmers in its lineage. Writing introspectively in his Voyage intérieur (1942), he sees himself as a representative of an "antique species". He would cast these ancestors in Colas Breugnon (1919).
Accepted to the École normale supérieure
in 1886, he first studied philosophy
, but his independence of spirit led him to abandon that so as not to submit to the dominant ideology.
I find war detestable but those who praise it without participating in it even more so.
If there is one place on the face of the earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India....For more than 30 centuries, the tree of vision, with all its thousand branches and their millions of twigs, has sprung from this torrid land, the burning womb of the Gods. It renews itself tirelessly showing no signs of decay.
The true Vedanta|Vedantic spirit does not start out with a system of preconceived ideas. It possesses absolute liberty and unrivalled courage among religions with regard to the facts to be observed and the diverse hypotheses it has laid down for their coordination. Never having been hampered by a priestly order, each man has been entirely free to search wherever he pleased for the spiritual explanation of the spectacle of the universe.
Skepticism, riddling the faith of yesterday, prepared the way for the faith of tomorrow.
I know at last what distinguishes man from animals; financial worries.
Every man who is truly a man must learn to be alone in the midst of all others, and if need be against all others.
In politics, he has always been a republican with advanced Socialist sympathies, and internationalist at heart, and, as they said in the eighteenth century, a "citizen of the world." He has always fought social injustice. In art, he loves, above all, Beethoven, Shakespeare, and Goethe... Rembrandt is the painter dearest to him. But his chosen country is Italy.
One makes mistakes; that is life. But it is never a mistake to have loved.
It is the artist's business to create sunshine when the sun fails.