Friday, September 30, 2005

Tolstoy Tidbit

"Pfuel was one of those hopelessly and immutably self-confident men, self-confident to the point of  martyrdom as only Germans are, because only Germans are self-confident on the basis of an abstract notion - science, that is, the supposed knowledge of absolute truth. A Frenchman is self-assured because he regards himself personally both in mind and body as irresistibly attractive to men and women. An Englishman is self-assured as being a citizen of the best-organized state in the world and therefore, as an Englishman, always knows what he should do and knows that all he does as an Englishman is undoubtedly correct. An Italian is self-assured because he is excitable and easily forgets himself and other people. A Russian is self-assured just because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe that anything can be known. The German's self-assurance is worst of all, stronger and more repulsive than any other, because he imagines that he knows the truth - science- which he himself has invented but which is for him the absolute truth."

From War and Peace, Book Nine, Chapter 10; By Leo Tolstoy.

So, all you Germans and Frenchmen, Englishmen, Italians and Russians out there... is it true?!

1 comment:

  1. As someone that almost fits two of those groups....

    I'm not sure.