“This sickness, to express oneself. What is it?”
-Jean Cocteau (The Paris Review, 1964)
Photo by Philippe Halsman.
Jean Cocteau (self-portrait, 1954) (via)
"Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal. Drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort, the trifling feeling of escape experienced at a masked ball. He distances himself from that which he feels and sees. He invents. He transfigures. He mythifies…
Journalists know this, or at least sense it. The inaccuracies of the press, and the banner headlines by which they are trumpeted, are soothing draughts to this thirst for the unreal. Accuracy is vexing to a crowd of would-be fantasizers. Hasn’t our age coined the term ‘escapism’, when in fact the only way to escape oneself is to allow oneself to be invaded?”
-excerpted from “On Invisibility,” Diary of an Unknown (1953)
Jean Marais in Beauty and the Beast (1946, dir. Jean Cocteau) (via)
"My method is simple: not to aim at poetry. That must come of its own accord. The mere whispered mention of its name frightens it away. I shall try to build a table. It will be up to you then to eat at it, to examine it or to chop it up for firewood."
-Cocteau, Beauty and the Beast: Diary of a Film (1947)