The Works of Alphonse Daudet


Publisher: Little, Brown and company Publication date: 1899
Subjects: Fiction / Classics

Fiction / Literary

History / Europe / France

Language Arts
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Publisher: Little, Brown and company Publication date: 1899
Subjects: Fiction / Classics

Fiction / Literary

History / Europe / France

Language Arts
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781231867648
  • Publisher: General Books LLC
  • Publication date: 5/28/2012
  • Pages: 56
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Read an Excerpt

PREFACE. " I Certainly do not blame the great Darwin, but the hypocritical knaves who invoke his authority, who assume to transform a single observation, a scholar's single discovery, into an article of the Code, and to apply it systematically. Ah ! you consider those fellows great men, able men ! But I tell you that they are nothing of the sort! There can be no greatness without kindliness, compassion, human sympathy. I tell you that these theories of Darwin are villanous in their application, because they seek out all that is brutish in a man's nature, and arouse all that still remains on four paws in the quadruped become biped." These words, in the mouth of one of my characters, summarize the exalted idea of my work and its far- reaching title; too far-reaching indeed, if we take the words The Struggle for Life literally. Assuredly I am not so presumptuous as to attempt to describe in one evening, any more than in one book or series of books, that battle for existence of which we never see more than one little corner, our own, like the soldier lost to sight in the bloody melees described by Stendhal and Tolstoi", over which the same mysterious destiny will always hover, veiled and obscure, despite the recent invention of smokeless powder. No, I have simply attempted to place upon the stage a few specimens of this new breed of little savages who make use of the Darwinian phrase," struggle for life," as a pretext and excuse for all sorts of villanies and infamies. This type did not exist among us before the war. " France is sentimental, it will probably become scientific," Gambetta used frequently to say; and I remember how fully I shared his ideas, with what ardor those about himadopted the brutish Saxon formulae: "The strong devours the weak; the survival of the fi...
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