Top 29 Jean Rhys Quotes

I like shape very much. A novel has to have shape, and life doesn’t have any.


There are always two deaths, the real one and the one people know about.


Lies are never forgotten, they go on and they grow


Not that she objected to solitude. Quite the contrary. She had books, thank Heaven, quantities of books. All sorts of books.


Your husband certainly love money,’ she said. ‘That is no lie Money have pretty face for everybody, but for that man money pretty like pretty self, he can’t see nothing else.


Anything you like; anything I like… No past to make us sentimental, no future to embarrass us


You are walking along a road peacefully. You trip. You fall into blackness. That’s the past – or perhaps the future. And you know that there is no past, no future, there is only this blackness, changing faintly, slowly, but always the same.


No past to make us sentimental, no future to embarrass us…a difficult moment when you are out of practice – a moment that makes you go cold, cold and wary.


She had left me thirsty and all my life would be thirst and longing for what I had lost before I found it.


Stephan was secretive and a liar, but he was a very gentle and expert lover. She was the petted, cherished child, the desired mistress, the worshipped, perfumed goddess. She was all these things to Stephan – or so he made her believe.


The devil prince of this world, but this world don’t last so long for mortal man.


I’ve had enough of these streets that sweat a cold, yellow slime, of hostile people, of crying myself to sleep every night. I’ve had enough of thinking, enough of remembering.


One realized all sorts of things. The value of an illusion, for instance, and that the shadow can be more important than the substance. All sorts of things.


Justice. I’ve heard that word. I tried it out. I wrote it down. I wrote it down several times and always it looked like a damn cold lie to me. There is no justice.


At twenty-four she imagined with dread that she was growing old.


Now I no longer wish to be loved, beautiful, happy or successful. I want one thing and one thing only – to be left alone.


Quite alone. No voice, no touch, no hand….How long must I lie here? For ever? No, only for a couple of hundred years this time, miss….


What I see is nothing – I want what it hides – that is not nothing.


Do you think that too,” she said, “that I have slept too long in the moonlight?


When I was out on the battlements it was cool and I could hardly hear them. I sat there quietly. I don’t know how long I sat. Then I turned round and saw the sky. It was red and all my life was in it.


And what does anyone know about traitors, or why Judas did what he did?


May you tear each other to bits, you damned hyenas, and the quicker the better. Let it be destroyed. Let it happen. Let it end, this cold insanity.


Something came out from my heart into my throat and then into my eyes.


Even the one moment that you thought was your eternity fades out and is forgotten and dies.


I am empty of everything. I am empty of everything but the thin, frail ghosts in my room.


But in the daytime it was all right. And when you’d had a drink you knew it was the best way to live in the world because anything might happen. I don’t know how people live when they know exactly what’s going to happen to them each day.


It’s funny, he said, have you ever thought that a girl’s clothes cost more than the girl inside them?


For the first time she had dimly realized that only the hopeless are starkly sincere and that only the unhappy can either give or take sympathy–even some of the bitter and dangerous voluptuousness of misery.


Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.



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