Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sundays with Stendhal 9

From On Love, the chapter on love in the United States ... Stendhal offers us ... Jingle Bells! Who ever would have thought?

In the Winter ... American young people of both sexes drive about night and day over the snow in sleighs, gaily travelling distances of fifteen or twenty miles without anyone to chaperone them; and nothing untoward ever occurs.

(In this conjecture about the Americans of roughly 1830, Stendhal, who never actually visited the place but had a great many opinions about it, was, we must observe, quite mistaken. There was, in fact, Much Untowardness.)