“No real man, therefore, I repeat, can read Casanova’s memoirs in certain moods without feeling envious, without feeling himself to be a bungler as compared with this master of the art of life. Often–again and again and again–one would rather be Casanova than be Goethe, Michelangelo, or Balzac.”
I’m reading Stefan Zweig’s Casanova: A Study in Self-Portraiture, and I came across this quote today. Is it true, I wonder? My first response is to say I’d rather be Balzac. Balzac didn’t have a particularly easy life, and he died far too young, but those books….who wouldn’t want to be the author of La Comédie Humaine? Perhaps I’ll have a different opinion after I read Casanova’s memoirs….