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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 14:57:58
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Whitman was the first of great men to write frankly about sex and five hundred years hence, that will be his singular and supreme distinction.

I add this last word, because his French freedom of speech came as pure spring water to my thirsty soul. A dozen of us were grouped about him one day, talking when one student with a remarkable gift for vague thought and highfalutin’ rhetoric, wanted to know what Taine thought of the idea that all the worlds and planets and solar systems were turning round one axis and moving to some divine fulfillment (accomplissement). Taine, who always disliked windy rhetoric, remarked quietly: The only axis in my knowledge round which everything moves to some accomplishment is a woman’s cunt (le con d’une femme). They laughed, but not as if the hold word had astonished them. He used it when it was needed, as I have often heard Anatole France use it since. and no one thought anything of it.

One more incident belongs in this thirteenth year, and is worthy perhaps of record. Freed of the bullying and senseless cruelty of the older boys who for the most part, still siding with Jones, left me severely alone, the restraints of school life began to irk me,

he’s just screaming out of sheer temper, Sir, look, there’s not a tear in his eye”.

The cord was effective, did all I wanted: after this experience I wore it regularly and within a week was again able to walk under the bar and afterwards jump it, able too to pull myself up with one hand till my chin was above the bar. I had conquered temptation and once more was captain of my body.

‘Much worse and weaker!’ she replied.


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