Anatole France (French: [anatɔl fʁɑ̃s]; born François-Anatole Thibault, [frɑ̃swa anatɔl tibo]; 16 April 1844 – 12 October 1924) was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was a successful novelist, with several best-sellers. Ironic and skeptical, he was considered in his day the ideal French man of letters. He was a member of the Académie française, and won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his brilliant literary achievements, characterized as they are by a nobility of style, a profound human sympathy, grace, and a true Gallic temperament". France is also widely believed to be the model for narrator Marcel's literary idol Bergotte in Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time.
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Whatever the philosophers may say, it remains true that, from the first hour of man's waking consciousness until that consciousness ceases, his most ardent desire is to be happy, and that the moment of his most profound regret is when he becomes convinced that on this earth perfect happiness cannot be found.
Flowers . . . put up no resistance to attack, suffer evil rather than inflicting it, imitate carnal love, multiply without fighting, and die without complaining. . . . They have realized the dream of Buddha: to desire nothing, to tolerate everything, to be absorbed in oneself to the depths of the unconscious will.