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“Our interest’s on the dangerous edge of things.

The honest thief, the tender murderer,

The superstitious atheist.”

Robert Browning, “The Bishop Blougram’s Apology

“Politics in a literary work are a pistol-shot in the middle of a concert, a crude affair though one impossible to ignore.  We are about to speak of very ugly matters.”

Stendhal, The Charterhouse of Parma, Richard Howard’s translation

“Well, then, estimate the people, curtail them, force them to be silent.  Because the European enlightenment is more important than people.”

Dostoyevsky, notebooks for The Brothers Karamazov

“The Westerner in me was discomposed.”

Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes

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