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Stendhal on Literature and Politics

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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.)

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