Posted by pancho from ? (18.104.22.168) on Monday, May 13, 2002 at 8:32PM :
Voltaire to the rest of us. He spent almost a year inthe Bastille for offending some nobleman. People have said that the reason French writers were such masters of style was that they had to watch out for the official censor and the executioner. That with those worthies breathing down their necks they had to come up with elegant ways and obscure ones too, of calling a whore a "lady sometimes" or something like that.
We owe that great period in Literature to the hangman...the lawyer of his day.
Also the reason you get the headache reading philosofy...they had to so disguise the basic question..."What Idiot God Dreamed THIS up"?? as to avoid the Inquisition, the lawyer of its day.
While we have lost a little of the style and polish of those venerable times, we have gained a kind of shorthand for calling a whore a whore. We can always write poetry...but we can't always get out of the way fast enough.
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