Monday, January 18, 2016


Interest in the Past

Ernest Renan (1823-1892), Recollections of My Youth, tr. C.B. Pitman (London: Chapman and Hall, 1883), p. 228:
For the day is not, we may be sure, very far distant when man will cease to attach much interest to his past. I am very much afraid that our minute contributions to the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, which are intended to assist to an accurate comprehension of history, will crumble to dust before they have been read.

On voit poindre, en effet, un âge où l'homme n'attachera plus beaucoup d'intérêt à son passé. Je crains fort que nos écrits de précision de l'Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, destinés à donner quelque exactitude à l'histoire, ne pourrissent avant d'avoir été lus.

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