Monday, August 2, 2010
On 'les illusions perdues'
"I, for my part, consider it something of a privilege not to have started until I had left my romantic illusions behind. I must now make up for lost time and work hard, but it is precisely when one has left one's illusions perdues behind one that work becomes a necessity and one of the few pleasures left. And then there ensues much peace and quiet."
He was referring to love for another person, but I also take it to mean 'romantic' in the other nineteenth century sense, which is the Byronic and Shelleyan belief that man is perfectible and politics tends towards the triumph of the progressive and the good. I sometimes think I would be happier if I just accepted that the right wingers will always triumph in the end, so why not just retreat to my house in the country and do paintings of flowers for the rest of my life?
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