I was listening to this in the car driving to Halifax this afternoon. Could not resist the impulse to share. From Denis Diderot’s Rameau’s Nephew.
I know what you’re going to say. DG should not be allowed near his computer late at night after messing with the Talisker.
…Then, putting his right hand to his chest, he added, “I feel something there rising up–it says to me, ‘Rameau, you’ll do none of that.’ There must be a certain dignity attached to human nature which nothing can extinguish. The most trivial thing will awaken it–something trifling. There are other days when it would cost me nothing to be as vile as anyone could wish. On those days for a penny I’d kiss the ass of the little Hus girl.”
ME: But, my friend, she’s white, pretty, young, soft, chubby–it’s an act of humility that even a man more refined than you could sometimes stoop to.
HIM: Let’s understand each other–there’s literal ass kissing and metaphorical ass kissing. Ask fat Bergier who kisses the ass of Madame de La Mark both literally and figuratively–my God, with them the literal and figurative disgust me equally.
—Denis Diderot, Rameau’s Nephew