Saturday, June 01, 2019


The End of the World

Victor Hugo (1802-1885), Notre-Dame de Paris, Book I, Chapter 1 (tr. Alban Krailsheimer):
Meanwhile the University's official bookseller, Maître Andry Musnier, bent to whisper in the ear of the furrier of the King's wardrobe, Maître Gilles Lecornu.

'I tell you, monsieur, it's the end of the world. The students' behaviour has never been so outrageous. It's all these damnable modern inventions that are the ruin of everything. Artillery, serpentines, bombards, and especially printing, that other plague from Germany. It's the end of manuscripts, the end of books! Printing is killing off the book trade. The end of the world is at hand!'

Cependant le libraire juré de l'Université, maître Andry Musnier, se penchait à l'oreille du pelletier-fourreur des robes du roi, maître Gilles Lecornu.

— Je vous le dis, monsieur, c'est la fin du monde. On n'a jamais vu pareils débordements de l'écolerie. Ce sont les maudites inventions du siècle qui perdent tout. Les artilleries, les serpentines, les bombardes, et surtout l'impression, cette autre peste d'Allemagne. Plus de manuscrits, plus de livres! L'impression tue la librairie. C'est la fin du monde qui vient.

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