Thursday, February 5, 2009

Nothing Worth the Trouble

"She was not happy--she never had been. Whence came this insufficiency in life--this instantaneous turning to decay of everything on which she leaned? But if there were somewhere a being strong and beautiful, a valiant nature, full at once of exaltation and refinement, a poet's heart in an angel's form, a lyre with sounding chords ringing out elegiac epithalamia to heaven, why, perchance, should she not find him? Ah! How impossible! Besides, nothing was worth the trouble of seeking it; everything was a lie. Every smile hid a yawn of boredom, every joy a curse, all pleasure satiety, and the sweetest kisses left upon your lips only the unattainable desire for a greater delight." (Flaubert)

"Nonetheless she was not happy, had never been happy. Why then was life so inadequate? Why did she feel this instantaneous decay of the things she relied on? If there existed somewhere a strong and hansome being, a valiant nature imbued with both exaltation and refinement, the heart of a poet in the shape of an angel, a lyre with strings of bronze, souding elegiac nuptial songs toward the heavens -- why, why could she not find him? How impossible it seemed! And anyway, nothing was worth looking for; everying was a lie. Each smile hid a yawn of boredom, each joy a curse, each pleasure its aftermatch of disgust, and the best of kisses left on your lifps only the unattainable desire for a higher delight." (Flaubert, Bucccaneer Books translation, pg. 267)

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