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The Literary Magazine, Vol 469 November 2007

Written by eastern writer on Monday, December 03, 2007

Pascal, mirror of our life

By Jean-Louis Hoots

Sweeping in three words the perfidies voltairiennes, Chateaubriand sealed the posthumous glory of Pascal: "This alarming génie… "So much d’inventions, of combat, fulgurances in a so short life – Pascal dies in 39 years. This man who hates it to me does not cease gearing down himself. Here it is in turn the cloîtré, despaired and cynical, mystical society man and and calculator. The diversity of its thought astonishes. Scientist, it invents the projective geometry, the theory of probability, experimental physics; perched with highest of l’Auvergne, its native stronghold, it challenges ḻantic theory according to which nature would have horror of the vacuum. Contractor, it designs at 19 years the arithmetic machine, which precedes the computer, and twenty years later, lance in Paris fit with body them with five grounds which are our first buses. Man d’action, it reinforces against the Jesuits, at the sides of the Jansenists. Thinker of the policy, it defines a justice of the orders to criticize l’absolutisme.Écrivain, finally and especially, camouflaged under seven distinct identities, it advances by fragments and invents a style which combines l’esprit geometry with l’obsession of the word right.

This appalling genius chose l’effroi like regulates life. Written Pascal leaned with nothing, tied by the fear of death. It prophesies the modern condition of l’homme which, to flee its anguishes, finds refuge in the entertainment. He is the contemporary of our small miseries and our great questions. All trembles at Pascal, l’homme which n’est that thinking reed, its sick body of which it auscultates the disastrous dilapidation, its hand which writes, readily haughty and indecipherable. Like any genius, he wants to be singular. And recluse, cultivating the withdrawal, l’anonymat, the temptation of poverty, the to know certainty nothing: "I know whom m’a put at the world, neither what c’est that the world, nor that myself; I am in a terrible ignorance of all things; I know only c’est that my body, that my directions, that my heart and that this part even of me which thinks what I say "Under these conditions, how not to choose s’en to give to God?


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