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Cæsar or Nothing   By: (1872-1956)

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First Page:

CÆSAR OR NOTHING

By Pío Baroja

Translated from the Spanish by Louis How

CONTENTS

PROLOGUE

PART

ROME

I THE PARIS VENTIMIGLIA EXPRESS II AN EXTRAORDINARY FAMILY III CÆSAR MONCADA IV PEOPLE WHO PASS CLOSE BY V THE ABBE PRECIOZI VI THE LITTLE INTERESTS OF THE PEOPLE IN A ROMAN HOTEL VII THE CONFIDENCES or THE ABBE PRECIOZI VIII OLD PALACES, OLD SALONS, OLD LADIES IX NEW ACQUAINTANCES X A BALL XI A SOUNDING LINE IN THE DARK WORLD XII A MEETING ON THE PINCIO XIII ESTHETICS AND DEMAGOGY XIV NEW ATTEMPTS, NEW RAMBLES XV GIOVANNI BATTISTA, PAGAN XVI THE PORTRAIT OF A POPE XVII EVIL DAYS XVIII CÆSAR BORGIA'S MOTTO, "AUT CÆSAR, AUT NIHIL" XIX CÆSAR'S REFLECTIONS XX DON CALIXTO AT SAINT PETER'S XXI DON CALIXTO IN THE CATACOMBS XXII SENTIMENTALITY AND ARCHEOLOGY XXIII THE 'SCUTCHEON OF A CHURCH XXIV TOURIST INTERLUDE

PART TWO

CATRO DURO

I ARRIVAL II CASTRO DURO III CÆSAR'S LABOURS IV THE BOOKSELLER AND THE ANARCHISTS V THE BANQUET VI UNCLE CHINAMAN VII A TRYING SCENE VIII THE ELECTION IX CÆSAR AS DEPUTY X POLITICAL LABOURS XI THE PITFALL OF SINIGAGLIA XII LOCAL STRUGGLES XIII AMPARITO IN ACTION XIV INTRANSIGENCE LOST XV "DRIVELLER" JUAN AND "THE CUB SLUT" XVI PITY, A MASK OF COWARDICE XVII FIRST VICTORY XVIII DECLARATION OF WAR XIX THE FIGHT FOR THE ELECTION XX CONFIDENCE XXI OUR VENERABLE TRADITIONS I OUR HOLY PRINCIPLES! XXII FINIS GLORIAE MUNDI

PROLOGUE

THE AUTHOR HOLDS FORTH IN REGARD TO THE CHARACTER OF HIS HERO

MORE OR LESS TRANSCENDENTAL DIGRESSIONS

The individual is the only real thing in nature and in life.

Neither the species, the genus, nor the race, actually exists; they are abstractions, terminologies, scientific devices, useful as syntheses but not entirely exact. By means of these devices we can discuss and compare; they constitute a measure for our minds to use, but have no external reality.

Only the individual exists through himself and for himself. I am, I live, is the sole thing a man can affirm.

The categories and divisions arranged for classification are like the series of squares an artist places over a drawing to copy it by. The lines of the squares may cut the lines of the sketch; but they will cut them, not in reality but only in the artist's eye.

In humanity, as in all of nature, the individual is the one thing. Only individuality exists in the realm of life and in the realm of spirit.

Individuality is not to be grouped or classified. Individuality simply cannot fit into a pigeon hole, and it is all the further from fitting if the pigeon hole is shaped according to an ethical principle. Ethics is a poor tailor to clothe the body of reality.

The ideas of the good, the logical, the just, the consistent, are too generic to be completely represented in nature.

The individual is not logical, or good, or just; nor is he any other distinct thing; and this through the force of his own fatal actions, through the influence of the deviation in the earth's axis, or for whatsoever other equally amusing cause. Everything individual is always found mixed, full of absurdities of perspective and picturesque contradictions, contradictions and absurdities that shock us, because we insist on submitting individuals to principles which are not applicable to them.

If instead of wearing a cravat and a bowler hat, we wore feathers and a ring in our nose, all our moral notions would change.

People of today, remote from nature and nasal rings, live in an artificial moral harmony which does not exist except in the imagination of those ridiculous priests of optimism who preach from the columns of the newspapers... Continue reading book >>




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