Amedeo Modigliani. Portrait of Blaise Cendrars. 1918. Oil on cardboard. 61 x 50 cm.

Since it’s Blaise Cendrars’ birthday today here are two quotes:

"Is there a more monstrous thought, a more convincing spectacle, a more patent affirmation of the impotence and madness of the brain? War. All our philosophies, religions, arts, techniques and trades lead to nothing but this. The finest flowers of civilization. The purest constructions of thought. The most generous and altruistic passions of the heart. The most heroic gestures of man. War. Now and thousand years ago. Tomorrow and a hundred thousand years ago. No, it’s not a question of your country, my German or French friend, or yours, whether you’re black or white or Papuan or a Borneo monkey. It’s a question of your life. If you want to live, kill. Kill so that you can be free, or eat, or shit. The shameful thing is to kill in masses, at a predetermined hour on a predetermined day, in honour of certain principles, under cover of a flag, with old men nodding approval, to kill in a disinterested or passive way. Stand alone against them all, young man, kill, kill, you are unique, you’re the only man alive, kill until the others cut you short with the guillotine or the cord or the rope, with or without ceremony, in the name of the Community or King. What a laugh."

— Blaise Cendrars (Moravagine)

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"Only a soul full of despair can ever attain serenity and, to be in despair, you must have loved a good deal and still love the world."

— Blaise Cendrars