Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sundays with Stendhal

Seeing how Brian Leiter, Belle Lettre, and other bloggers post up poetry and other stuff on a weekly basis - and seeing how this blog is a little bit of anything - I thought I might try something similar. So, I am going to run a series for a while of quotes from Stendhal. Mostly they will come from The Red and the Black, but sometimes from other things, like the essay On Love, and from The Charterhouse of Parma, other places. As I think I have said (in fact I'm sure I have said repeatedly), I was introduced to The Red and the Black at the age of fourteen by a friend at school. I read it and immediately saw myself forever in Julien. I have reread the book on average somewhere between once a year and once every other year. A lot. When I was fifteen, I had a small business - I confess - writing English and history papers for money for the rich boys' school up in the hills above Claremont, and I wrote four papers for one class on The Red and the Black. Just this term, one of my European LLM students told me she was named for Clelia Conti; in recognition of her parents' excellent taste, naturally she will get an A.

So, let us start with a quote I have actually put up on this blog several times, and which could serve quite well as the motto of, I don't know, one of our human rights organizations:

Julien fell asleep, dreaming of honors for himself, and liberties for everyone else.

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