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“It would be nice, if it were possible to arrest life. But it goes on. What does it mean, — life goes on? Life goes on, means, — the hair falls out and grows gray, the teeth decay, there appear wrinkles, and there is an odour in the mouth. Even before everything ends, everything becomes terrible and disgusting: you perceive the pasty paint and powder, the sweat, the stench, the homeliness. Where is that which I served? Where is beauty? And it is all. If it is not, — there is nothing. There is no life. Not only is there no life in what seemed to have life, but you, too, begin to get away from it, to grow feeble, to look homely, to decay, while others before your very eyes seize from you those pleasures in which was the whole good of life. More than that: there begins to glint the possibility of another life, something else, some other union of men with the whole world, such as excludes all those deceptions, something else, something that cannot be impaired by anything, that is true and always beautiful. But that cannot be, — it is only the provoking sight of an oasis, when we know that it is not there and that everything is sand.” – Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, “The Works of Guy de Maupassant” (trans. unknown)

Published inGuy de MaupassantLit & Crit

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