Even the simple act that we call "going to visit a person of our acquaintance" is in part an intellectual act. We fill the physical appearance of the person we see with all the notions we have about him, and in the totality of our impressions about him, these notions play the most important role.
I find very reasonable the Celtic belief that the souls of our dearly departed are trapped in some inferior being, in an animal, aplant, an inanimate object, indeed lost to us until the day, which for some never arrives, when we find that we pass near the tree, or come to possess the object which is their prison. Then they quiver, call us, and as soon as we have recognized them, the spell is broken. Freed by us, they have vanquished death and return to live with us.
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In times like ours, where the growing complexity of life leaves us barely the time to read the newspapers, where the map of Europehas endured profound rearrangements and is perhaps on the brink of enduring yet others, where so many threatening and new problems appear everywhere, you will admit it may be demanded of a writer that he be more than a fine wit who makes us forget in idle and byzantine discussions on the merits of pure form ...
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A powerful idea communicates some of its power to the man who contradicts it. Partaking of the universal community of minds, it infiltrates, grafts itself on to, the mind of him who it refutes, among other contiguous ideas, with the aid of which, counter-attacking, he complements and corrects it; so that the final verdict is always to some extent the work of both parties to a discussion.
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Life is extraordinarily suave and sweet with certain natural, witty, affectionate people who have unusual distinction and are capable of every vice, but who make a display of none in public and about whom no one can affirm they have a single one. There is something supple and secret about them. Besides, their perversity gives spice to their most innocent occupations, such as taking a walk in the garden at night.
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When we have passed a certain age, the soul of the child that we were and the souls of the dead from whom we sprang come and shower upon us their riches and their spells, asking to be allowed to contribute to the new emotions which we feel and in which, erasing their former image, we recast them in an original creation.
The fact of the matter is that, since we are determined always to keep our feelings to ourselves, we have never given any thought to the manner in which we should express them. And suddenly there is within us a strange and obscene animal making itself heard, whose tones may inspire as much alarm in the person who receives the involuntary, elliptical and almost irresistible communication of one's defect or vice as would the sudden avowal indirectly and outlandishly proffered by a criminal who can no longer refrain from confessing to a murder of which one had never imagined him to be guilty.
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It seems that certain transcendental realities emit rays to which the masses are sensitive. That is how, for example, when an event takes place, when at the front an army is in danger, or defeated, or victorious, the rather obscure news which the cultivated man does not quite understand, excite in the masses an emotion which surprises him and in which, once the experts have informed him of the actual military situation, he recognizes the populace's perception of that "aura" surrounding great events and visible for hundreds of kilometers.
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