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"The Wit To Remain Stupid"

Posted 11/26/2014 6:33am by Eugene Wyatt.

Proust had been disappointed by the audience as well as by Debussy's work (Le Martyre de Saint-Sebastien, based on a story by Gabriele D'Annunzio). His remark in a letter to Mme Straus echoes the satirical portraits of society people he had begun to write about. The people he had glimpsed at the performance "seemed to have greatly deteriorated. Even the nicest of them have taken to intelligence and alas, with society people—I don't know how they manage it—intelligence is simply a multiplier of stupidity, raising it to an unbelievable power and intensity. The only possible ones are those who have had the wit to remain stupid."

Marcel Proust, A Life William C. Carter 2002-2013, p. 500.

Tags: Carter, Proust