Thursday, June 12, 2014


Advice on Reading

Voltaire, letter to Mademoiselle ? (June 20, 1756; tr. ‎Evelyn Beatrice Hall):
[M]y advice to you is—read only such books as have long been sealed with the universal approval of the public and whose reputation is established. They are few: but you will gain much more from reading those few than from all the feeble little works with which we are inundated.

[J]e vous invite à ne lire que les ouvrages qui sont depuis longtemps en possession des suffrages du public, et dont la réputation n'est point équivoque. Il y en a peu, mais on profite bien davantage en les lisant, qu'avec tous les mauvais petits livres dont nous sommes inondés.
Id., letter to Monsieur ? (January 5, 1759):
I have not read any of the books of which you tell me, my dear philosopher: I keep to old works, which teach me something: from the new I learn very little.

Je n'ai lu aucun des livres dont vous me parlez, mon cher philosophe; je m'en tiens aux anciens ouvrages qui m'instruisent; les modernes m'apprennent peu de chose.

Albert Josef Franke (1860-1924),
Aufmerksame Lektüre

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