Prefacing the coming of the book

I smile when I think of the following being written in the 50’s (okay, the English appeared in 1976, but I don’t have the original, so imagine it in French as published in 1958):

As usual there is an important preliminary problem: how to arrange the book and where to set limits to the subject. We will not use those quite puerile subdivisions based on the artificial distinctions of dates, the kind of thing that is fed to schoolchildren to keep them happy: ‘On what day, month, and year did the Middle Ages end?’ (We would translate such a question thus: ‘What date, in the mind of its inventors, marked the birth and the death of that intellectual abstraction, with no claim to existence other than pedagogic convenience?’)

I <3 L.F.

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