Saturday, September 03, 2005

On the looting in New Orleans

Anatole France: "La loi, dans un grand souci d'égalité, interdit aux riches comme aux pauvres de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain."

"The law, in its great concern for equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal bread".


(I think "great concern for equality" is more accurate than the usual translation of this sentence, "majestic equality", which is admittedly colder and stronger.)

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ibn Kafka said...

Nice to see someone with an appreciation of Anatole France. I feel however compelled to correct your citation, taken from Anatole Frances's novel "Le lys rouge" ("The red lily"):

"Autre motif d'orgueil, que d'être citoyen ! Cela consiste pour les pauvres à soutenir et à conserver les riches dans leur puissance et leur oisiveté. Ils y doivent travailler devant la majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain. C'est un des bienfaits de la révolution. "

(see http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k88392v , scroll down to page 107)

The revolution he's on about is the French revolution of 1789, which he considers as a bourgeois revolution.

Cheers

14/9/06 08:41  
Blogger rilkefan said...

Interesting. I just picked up my version via the top hits at google, obviously not as good as having the book at hand. I wonder where the "grand souci" version comes from (an earlier draft? a well-known misquote?).

14/9/06 09:18  

Post a Comment

<< Home