Sunday, February 05, 2017


Was Man Created in God's Image?

Alain Corbin, The Foul and the Fragrant: Odor and the French Social Imagination, tr. Miriam L. Kochan et al. (Leamington Spa: Berg Publishers, 1986), p. 29, with notes on p. 242:
Excrement became a subject of conversation at the court of Louis XVI.56 Voltaire commented that man had not been created in the image of God, since He did not have to satisfy such needs.57

56. Alexandre Parent-Duchatelet, Rapport sur les améliorations à introduire dans les fosses d'aisances, reprinted in Hygiène publique, 2:350.

57. Voltaire, "Déjection," in Dictionnaire philosophique (Geneva, 1764).
The passage from Voltaire (tr. Abner Kneeland):
Oh man! who is so daring as to call yourself the image of God, tell me whether God eats, and if he have a gut rectum?

You the image of God! and your heart and your mind depends upon a stool!

You the image of God on your close stool! the first man who dared to utter such impertinence, was he prompted by an excess of folly, or was it from extreme pride?
The French:
O homme! qui oses te dire l'image de Dieu, dis-moi si Dieu mange, et s'il a un boyau rectum.

Toi, l'image de Dieu! et ton coeur et ton esprit dépendent d'une selle!

Toi l'image de Dieu sur ta chaise percée! Le premier qui dit cette impertinence la proféra-t-il par une extrême bêtise, ou par un extrême orgueil?
See also Plutarch, Isis and Osiris 25 (tr. Frank Cole Babbitt):
Hence the elder Antigonus, when a certain Hermodotus in a poem proclaimed him to be "the Offspring of the Sun and a god," said, "the slave who attends to my chamber-pot is not conscious of any such thing!"

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?