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Friday, January 20, 2012

The Nineteenth Century Had Its Own Wilt Chamberlain

"[Restif de la Bretonne] was indeed 'modern' in his preoccupations -- in being pedantic, in being a fact-grubber subject to paranoid anxiety, a severe critic of cities, and in always thinking of sexual matters. He was vain about his record: he itemized 700 liaisons... and a score of illegitimate children before his majority... [and this despite the fact that he] was short, thick, with a hook nose [and not] always clean..." -- Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence, pp. 448-449

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