Returning to the Escolios

Rereading Gómez Dávila’s “Escolios”, I am once again reminded that it is the greatest of the works of 20th Century Spanish language literature that have yet to be translated into English. Each time I return to these books, I find new sections that I adore:

En el auténtico humanismo se respira la presencia de una sensualidad discreta y familiar.

In authentic humanism, there breathes the presence of a discrete and familiar sensuality.

Sólo una cosa no es vana: la perfección sensual del instante.

One thing alone is not vain: the sensual perfection of an instant.

Una existencia feliz es tan ejemplar como una virtuosa.

A happy existence is as exemplary as a virtuous one.

Se suele olvidar que lo contrario de romántico no es clásico sino imbécil.

It is commonly forgotten that the opposite of Romantic is not classical, but idiotic.

Cuando la providencia nos concede el destino que anhelábamos, pronto descubrimos que aceptarlo requiere una resignación desolada.

When providence concedes to us the destiny that we wished for, we soon discover that a desolate resignation is required to accept it.

Dios es la substancia de lo que amamos.

God is the substance of that which we love.1

If anyone could make me believe in God, it would be Gómez Dávila.

  1. Nicolás Gómez Dávila : Escolios a un texto implícito : Tomo I