#4: Andre Gide
“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”
There’s something about “autumn leaves” that just fits the bittersweet nature of love. Edith Piaf’s classic song “Autumn Leaves” is a well-worn standard by this point, the image itself is bittersweet in so many ways, and then of course there’s Andre Gide’s Autumn Leaves, and this quote, which is essentially the “be yourself” entry in our love quotes.
There are, of course, those who might beg to differ with Gide—she never did say “Let them eat cake,” but Marie Antoinette was still a frivolous spendthrift out of touch with the plight of the common people.
And as she literally lost her head over being hated for what she was, she might well have preferred to be “loved for what [she was] not.”
That said, unless you plan to spend a fortune while Parisians starve for a lack of bread, being true to yourself’s good advice. What’s more, in considering the example of Marie Antoinette, it’s the kind of advice that invites the reader to confront their flaws head-on (pun most certainly intended.)
Marie is a definite historical rival for Marilyn Monroe in terms of the aura of glamor and tragedy alike.
However, where Marilyn’s entry into our discussion on love quotes, as stated, is full of self-recognition and the admission of imperfections, Marie Antoinette didn’t learn to embrace that view until it was too late, and she’d already become branded by the Revolutionary press as a symbol of the kind of excesses that were not only devastating France, but were likewise devastatingly-unfair when so much of the country was starving.