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La politique dans une œuvre littéraire c’est un coup de pistolet au milieu d’un concert–quelque chose de grossier et auquel pourtant il n’est pas possible de refuser son attention.
Politics in a literary work is a pistol shot in the middle of a concert—a rather coarse matter, but, on the other hand, something which one ignores at one’s own peril.
–Marie-Henri Beyle (Stendhal), La Chartreuse de Parme ch xxiii(1839) in: Romans et nouvelles, vol. 2, p. 405 (Pléiade ed. 1968)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”