"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Come on, you know as well as I do what it is...



'Of course,' he said, 'you know what it is, Rieux, don't you?'
'I'm waiting for the results of the tests.'
'Well, I know. I don't need tests. I spent part of my life working in China, and I saw a few cases in Paris, twenty years ago - although no one dared put a name to it at that time. Public opinion is sacred: no panic, above all no panic. Then a colleague told me: "It's impossible, everyone knows it has vanished from the West." Yes, everyone knew that, except the dead. Come on, Rieux, you know as well as I do what it is...'
'Yes, Castel,' he said. 'It's almost impossible to believe. But it appears that it must be the plague.'

-- Albert Camus, The Plague, 1947



- Naturellement, vous savez ce que c'est, Rieux ?
- J'attends le résultat des analyses.
- Moi, je le sais. Et je n'ai pas besoin d'analyses. J'ai fait une partie de ma carrière en Chine, et j'ai vu quelques cas à Paris, il y a une vingtaine d'années. Seulement, on n'a pas osé leur donner un nom, sur le moment. L'opinion publique, c'est sacré : pas d'affolement, surtout pas d'affolement. Et puis, comme disait un confrère : "C'est impossible, tout le monde sait qu'elle a disparu de l'Occident." Oui, tout le monde le savait, sauf les morts. Allons, Rieux, vous savez aussi bien que moi ce que c'est...
- Oui, Castel, dit-il, c'est à peine croyable. Mais il semble bien que ce soit la peste.

-- Albert Camus, La peste, 1947

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