I have always found the odour of my beloved ones exceeding pleasant, and the stronger their transpiration, the more they seemed sweet to me

File:Tomato leaf stomate 1-color.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

a juxtapoetic illustration of sweat

There is a charming Italian restaurant and traiteur right next to my door, called Il Particolare.

Particolare

In their tiny dining room hangs a quote of the preface to Casanova’s Histoire de ma vie. Its most intriguing bit reads:

“Wat de vrouwen betreft, vond ik altijd dat het liefje, dat ik begeerde lekker rook en hoe meer ze zweette, des te heerlijker ik haar vond.”

Like so many translations of Histoire de ma vie, it was previously bowdlerized.

The original French text reads:

“J’ai toujours trouvé que celle que j’aimais sentait bon et plus sa transpiration était forte, plus elle me semblait suave.”

Jean Laforgue, who translated from the German Brockhaus edition “rectified”: “Quant aux femmes, j’ai toujours trouvé suave l’odeur de celles que j’ai aimées”.

Arthur Symons repeats the bowdlerized version (as he had no access to the original edition): “As for women, I have always found the odour of my beloved ones exceeding pleasant.” It should actually read: “I have always found the odour of my beloved ones exceeding pleasant, and the stronger their transpiration, the more they seemed sweet to me.

1 thought on “I have always found the odour of my beloved ones exceeding pleasant, and the stronger their transpiration, the more they seemed sweet to me

  1. georgy

    Before reading the post, I though you were talking about your children 🙂

    There is something so deeply familiar with your own kin’s sweat that it can’t be hostile or unpleasant.

Comments are closed.