Thursday, June 15, 2017

Quote of the Day (Marcel Proust, on ‘People of Bygone Ages’)

“The people of bygone ages seem infinitely remote from us. We do not feel justified in ascribing to them any underlying intentions beyond those they formally express; we are amazed when we come upon a sentiment more or less akin to what we feel today in a Homeric hero, or a skillful tactical feint by Hannibal during the battle of Cannae, where he let his flank be driven back in order to take the enemy by surprise and encircle him; it is as though we imagined the epic poet and the Carthaginian general to be as remote from ourselves as an animal seen in a zoo.”—French novelist Marcel Proust (1871-1922), The Guermantes Way (1913), Vol. III of In Search of Lost Time, translated by Mark Treharne

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