Victor Hugo, L'Homme qui rit (1869)
To him who lives on fiction, the truth is vile. He who thirsts for flattery vomits back up the real when drunk by mistake.
He, at the very beginning of the history of mankind, was the Superman whom Nietzsche only expected from the future. Even today, the members of a group stand in need of the illusion that they are equally and justly loved by their leader, but the leader himself need love no one else, he may be of a masterly nature, absolutely narcissistic, but self-confident and independent. We know that love puts a check upon narcissism, and it would be possible to show how, by operating in this way, it became a factor of civilization.
GRUSHENKO: To die . . . before the harvest. The crops, the grains, fields of rippling wheat. Wheat. All there is in life is wheat. . . . Oh, wheat! Lots of wheat! Fields of wheat! A tremendous amount of wheat. . . . Yellow wheat. Red wheat. Wheat with feathers. Cream of wheat.
SONJA: The last traces of the shimmering dusk are setting behind the quickly darkening evening, and it’s only noon. Soon we shall be covered by wheat.
NATASHA: Did you say . . . wheat?
SONJA AND NATASHA: Wheat . . .
GRUSHENKO: Wheat! I’m dead, they’re talking about wheat.
We shall be happy because we shall have everything . . . The wheat fields will be there, and the blue cornflowers – And the woods in the spring! And Mother, and those we loved . . . and who loved us in return . . . And those who, in this existence, didn’t love us. She sobs suddenly. They’ll love us . . . They’ll want us . . . She weeps passionately, agonizedly. This is the suffering about which, in that future, she will speak to God. This, and not the other, is the truth. And so she weeps. (vi)