Ég, Arnaldur og Steini vorum að velta því fyrir okkur um daginn af hverju geðveikt fólk (skv. klisjunni) heldur ávallt að það sé Napóleon en ekki eitthvert annað stórmenni mannkynssögunar. Sem dæmi um þessa klisju má nefna smásögu Laxness Napóleón Bónaparte, og Raskolnikov í Glæpi og refsingu Dostoievskis. Ég held að hér fáist gott svar, úr bókinni The Age of Revolution eftir Eric Hobsbawn:
"[...] the Napoleonic myth is based less on Napoleon's merits than on the facts, then unique, of his career. The great known world-shakers of the past had begun as kings like Alexander or patricians like Julius Caesar; but Napoleon was the 'little corporal' who rose to rule a continent by sheer personal talent. (This was not strictly true, but his rise was sufficiently meteoric and high to make the description reasonable). Every young intellectual who devoured books, as the young Bonaparte had done, wrote bad poems and novels, and adored Rousseau could henceforth see the sky as his limit, laurels surrounding his monogram. Every businessman henceforth had a name for his ambition: to be -- the clichés themselves say so -- a 'Napoleon of finance' or industry. All common men were thrilled by the sight, then unique, of a common man who became greater than those born to wear crowns. Napoleon gave ambition a personal name at the moment when the double revolution had opened the world to men of ambition. Yet he was more. He was the civilized man of the eighteenth century, rationalist, inquisitive, enlightened, but with sufficient of the disciple of Rousseau about him to be also the romantic man of the nineteenth. He was the man of the Revolution, and the man who brought stability. In a word, he was the figure every man who broke with tradition could identify himself with in his dreams."
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