History, like perspective, needs distance. Facts that are too abundantly attested cease, in some degree, to be malleable.

[L’histoire a besoin de lointain, comme la perspective. Les faits et les événements trop attestés ont, en quelque sorte, cessé d’être malléables.]

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées [Thoughts], ch. 23 “Des Qualités de l’Écrivain et des Compositions Littéraires [On Writers and Literature],” ¶ 119 (1850 ed.) [tr. Lyttelton (1899), ch. 22, ¶ 52]

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

History needs distance, perspective. Facts and events which are too well attested, cease, in some sort, to be malleable.
[tr. Attwell (1896), ¶ 356]

History, like perspective, has need of distance.
[tr. Auster (1983), 1801]

Added on 7-Aug-23 | Last updated 7-Aug-23
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