The poet lies
August 9, 2015 4:21 PM   Subscribe

Most especially when writing about himself. A paraphrase at best. My memory says Verlaine or Rimbaud. But my googlefoo fails me.
posted by mikecable to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
For what it's worth, there is a quote supposedly from Jean Cocteau I've seen, "The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth," but I can't find anything listing a source, and if I know anything about quotes, it's that the attributions are wrong a lot. (Plus, Cocteau was pretty prolific so it's going to be hard to narrow down where to look.)
posted by ernielundquist at 5:19 PM on August 9, 2015

"Autopsychography," by Fernando Pessoa, covers a similar theme, but I doubt it's quite what you're looking for.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:32 PM on August 9, 2015

There's an aphorism of Nietzsche that says “The poet presents his thoughts festively, on the carriage of rhythm: usually because they could not walk.”
posted by thelonius at 5:38 PM on August 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Could it be this Oscar Wilde quote? "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."
posted by capricorn at 6:00 PM on August 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

My gut instinct is Oscar Wilde and a pull-quote from The Decay of Lying.
posted by kariebookish at 12:14 AM on August 10, 2015

The classic Cocteau quote along these lines is "Je suis un mensonge qui dit toujours la vérité" ("I am a lie who always tells the truth"), if that's what you're after.
posted by Wolof at 9:04 PM on August 10, 2015

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