Romain Rolland
Romain Rolland was a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 dramatist, novelist, essayist, art historian and mystic
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 who was awarded the Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 for Literature in 1915.
Rolland was born in Clamecy, Nièvre
Nièvre is a department in the centre of France named after the Nièvre River.-History:Nièvre is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790...

 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
École normale supérieure
An école normale supérieure or ENS is a type of publicly funded higher education in France. A portion of the student body who are French civil servants are called Normaliens....

 in 1886, he first studied philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, 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.

Inter arma Caritas, Journal de Genève (30 October 1914)

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.

Life of Ramakrishna (1929)

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.

Life of Vivekananda (1944)

Skepticism, riddling the faith of yesterday, prepared the way for the faith of tomorrow.

As quoted in The Great Quotations (1960) by George Seldes, p. 864

I know at last what distinguishes man from animals; financial worries.

As quoted in The Anchor Book of French quotations, with English Translations (1963) by Norbert Guterman

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.

As quoted in A Book of French Quotations‎ (1963) by Norbert Guterman, p. 365

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.

On himself, as quoted in World Authors 1900-1950 (1996)

One makes mistakes; that is life. But it is never a mistake to have loved.

As quoted in On Relationships: A Book for Teenagers (1999) by Kimberly Kirberger :As translated by Gilbert Cannan (1913)

It is the artist's business to create sunshine when the sun fails.

"The Market-Place" Part I