28 February 2012

George Sand on individuality

“Toutes les existences sont solidaires les unes des autres, et tout être humain qui présenterait la sienne isolément, sans la rattacher à celle de ses semblables, n'offrirait qu'une énigme à débrouiller. Cette individualité n'a par elle seule ni signification ni importance aucune. Elle ne prend un sens quelconque qu'en devenant une parcelle de la vie générale, en se fondant avec l'individualité de chacun de mes semblables, et c'est par là qu'elle devient de l'histoire.” Histoire de ma Vie George Sand pp. 240f.
English: “All lives are supportive of each other, and every human being who would present his own isolation, without connecting to that of his fellows, would offer a riddle to unravel. This individuality has in itself no meaning or no importance. It takes some direction by becoming a piece of the general life, based in itself with the individuality of each of my peers, and this is where it becomes history.”
So, although it seems that in the modern world we are dissociated from each other, each locked in an isolated individuality, in truth we are always already associated with each other, and our individual freedom is only given rein by how we associate within customs and practices of social interplay.

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