To joke in the face of danger is the supreme politeness, a delicate refusal to cast oneself as a tragic hero.

Edmond Rostand
Edmond Rostand (1868-1918) French playwright
Speech to the Académie française (1903)

Quoted in John Lahr, "Fighting and Writing," The New Yorker (12 Nov 2007).

Added on 9-May-08 | Last updated 9-May-08
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