Wednesday, September 10, 2014


A Page is Enough

André Gide, Journals (January 5, 1922; tr. Justin O'Brien):
My good days of work are those I begin by reading an ancient author, one of those that are called "classics." A page is enough; a half-page, if only I read it in the proper state of mind. It is not so much a lesson one must seek in them as the tone, and that sort of being out of one's element which sets the present effort in proper proportion, without divesting the moment of any of its urgency. And this is the way I like to end my day too.

Mes bonnes journées de travail sont celles que je commence par la lecture d'un ancien auteur, de ceux que l’on appelle «classiques». Une page y suffit; une demi-page, si seulement je la lis dans la disposition d'esprit qui convient. Ce n’est point tant un enseignement qu'il y faut chercher, que le ton, et cette sorte de dépaysement qui proportionne l'effort présent, sans rien ôter à l'instant de son urgence. Et c'est ainsi que j'aime achever également ma journée.
Cf. Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Notas, 210 (tr. Michael Hendry):
The reading of Homer every morning, with the serenity, the tranquillity, the deep sensation of moral and physical well-being which it instills in us, is the best provision to endure the vulgarities of the day.

La lectura matutina de Homero, con la serenidad, el sosiego, la honda sensación de bienestar moral y físico, de salud perfecta, que nos infunde, es el mejor viático para soportar las vulgaridades del díia.

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