Sunday, June 03, 2007

Far side of the black pit

A quote from Gustave Flaubert today:

The melancholy of the ancients seems to me deeper than that of the moderns, who all more or less assume an immortality on the far side of the black pit. For the ancients the black pit was infinity itself; their dreams take shape and pass against a background of unchanging ebony. No cries, no struggles, only the fixity of the pensive gaze. The gods being dead and Christ not yet born, there was, between Cicero and Marcus Aurelius, one unique moment when there was only man.

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