The present has its élan because it is always on the edge of the unknown and one misunderstands the past unless one remembers that this unknown was once part of its nature.
La guerre n'était donc plus ce noble et commun élan d'âmes amantes de la gloire qu'il s'était figuré d'après les proclamations de Napoléon!stendhal
Gracefulness is not imposed from without but generated from within. Gracefulness is 'the immateriality which . . . passes into matter.' In this formulation, the soul , or what Bergson elsewhere calls the élan vital , the life force, shapes the matter that contains it. The soul is not immobilized by matter, as it is in comedy , but remains infinitely supple and perpetually in motion.
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