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Ce qu’on appelle un «esprit faux» (l’autre haussait les epaules devant cette locution toute faite et declarait qu’elle n’avait aucun sens)–eh bien! je m’en vais vous le dire: c’est celui qui éprouve le besoin de se persuader qu’il a raison de commettre tous les actes qu’il a envie de commettre; celui qui met sa raison au service de ses instincts, de ses intérêts, ce qui est pire, ou de son tempérament.
What they call a “hypocrite” (the other shrugged his shoulders upon hearing this locution and declared that it was meaningless)—oh well! I’m going to tell you: it’s someone who needs to persuade himself that he is right to do what he wants to do, someone who puts his reason in the service of his instincts, of his self-interest, which is worse, or of his temperament.
–André Gide, Journal des Faux-Monnayeurs, p. 51 (1927)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
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An island of fairy penguins was successfully defended against foxes and feral dogs by Maremma sheepdogs.
In Turlock, California, nearly 3,500 samples of bull semen were stolen from the back of a truck.
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“Civilization masks us with a screen, from ourselves and from one another, with thin depth of unreality. We habitually live — do we not? — in a world self-created, half established, of false values arbitrarily upheld, largely inspired by misconception, misapprehension, wrong perspective, and defective proportion, misapplication.”