Ce grand malheur, de ne pouvoir être seul  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Ce grand malheur, de ne pouvoir être seul" is a dictum found in two short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, "The Man of the Crowd" and "Metzengerstein." It is a misquotation of The Characters (1688), a book by Jean de La Bruyère.

It is usually translated as such a great misfortune, not to be able to be alone.

The original text by La Bruyère reads:

"Tout notre mal vient de ne pouvoir être seuls : de là le jeu, le luxe, la dissipation, le vin, les femmes, l’ignorance, la médisance, l’envie, l’oubli de soi-même et de Dieu."[1]

It translates as:

"All men's misfortunes proceed from their aversion to being alone ; hence gambling, extravagance, dissipation, wine, women, ignorance, slander, envy, and forgetfulness of what we owe to God and ourselves."[2]

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ce grand malheur, de ne pouvoir être seul" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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