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Gide on the Art of Hypocrisy

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rysselberghe

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.)

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