Charles Du Bos

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Charles Du Bos (or Charles du Bos) was a French critic who was born 27 October 1882, Paris, France and who died 5 August 1939, La Celle-Saint-Cloud. He was considered a notable essayist.

The following quote has been widely attributed since the 1970s to Charles Dubois, as on the Favorite Quotes blog: "The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become." However, its correct attribution appears to be to Charles Du Bos (1882-1939), the French critic of French and English literature.

The quote is apparently translated from his 1929 book (a collection of essays) called: Approximations (Troisième série), in an essay on Georges Duhamel's "Confession de Minuit", where Du Bos has just given the example of a mother's first love for her infant at quickening: "...[qu'elle a surpris son premier tressaillement vital]; surtout il s'agit à tout moment de sacrifier ce que nous sommes à ce que nous pouvons devenir." [1]


  1. ^ Du Bos, Charles (1929). Approximations (Troisieme serie). Le Rouge et Le Noir. p. 129.