Written at 57, two years before his death, this is the novelist’s fantasy wish-list in the format of an international treaty.
Article 1 demands a good death, but, by Article 3, Stendhal is very much alive: requiring a hard and moveable penis. Other miracles to be granted ‘the beneficiary’ include the shape-changing powers of a Greek god, self-cleaning clothes, glowing flags to locate game when hunting, the right to kill ten people per year, a magic prayer for repulsion of biting insects, and, revealingly, to ‘never be more unhappy than he was from 1st August 1839 to 1st April 1840’.
Related recommendation: Montaigne’s ‘Of the Power [or Force] of the Imagination’
Can also be found at: British Library shelfmark YC.2003.a.18503
Themes: How to Age and/or Die, How to Live
Genres: Aphoristic, Autobiographical, Semi-Fictional , Humorous