Speaking of Myself on the Subject of Richard

Turn-of-the-century author Anatole France wrote, “There is no such thing as objective art…. The truth is that one never gets out of oneself. That is one of our greatest miseries. We are locked into our persons as into a lasting prison. The best we can do, it seems to me, is to gracefully recognize this terrible situation and to admit that we speak of ourselves every time that we have not the strength to be silent.” He added, “To be quite frank, the writer ought to say, ‘Gentlemen, I am going to talk about myself on the subject of Shakespeare, or Racine, or Pascal, or Goethe — subjects that offer me a beautiful opportunity.’” *

So when I say I would like to write about a gentleman named Richard, I’d be more honest to say, “I would now like to talk about myself on the subject of Richard, who gives me an excellent opportunity.”

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