Perfection and lies

on July 29, 2008 with 0 comments » | ,


...by sidestepping the accidents, defects, and rough edges of truth, falseness reaches its goal much more easily, without hurdles or doubts, than a scrupulous approach which hews closely to the matter at hand.
No. I am not talking about political spin this election season. The above lines are an excerpt from the novel I just started - Conjugal love by the Italian author, Alberto Moravia.

Perfection is not a human quality; in most cases it belongs to the realm of lies rather than truth, whether those lies seep into our relationships with other people or they merely dominate our relationships with ourselves. This is because by sidestepping the accidents, defects, and rough edges of truth, falseness reaches its goal much more easily, without hurdles or doubts, than a scrupulous approach which hews closely to the matter at hand.
When I read authors like Moravia and Italo Calvino in translation, I wonder how amazing they must sound in their original! Of course, the epitome of this for me is Pablo Neruda's poetry. Such lilt and beauty even in translation; imagine how good it must be in Spanish! Given the vast body of Neruda's poetry, it would be an injustice to link to just a few of his poems here but it may be time worth spent to read his Nobel lecture.

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