Tuesday, 30 March 
Paul Lacroix confirmed in conversation with me today what Gavarni had told me about Balzac's thriftiness in the expenditure of his sperm. He was perfectly happy playing the love game up to the point of ejaculation, but he was unwilling to go any further. Sperm for him was an emission of cerebral matter and as it were a waste of creative power; and after one unfortunate incident, in the course of which he had forgotten his theories, he arrived at Latouche's exclaiming: 'I lost a book this morning.'
(Edmond and Jules de Goncourt, Pages from the Goncourt Journals [translated by Robert Baldick], New York: NYRB Classics, 2007, 215-216)
Unofficial coup d'envoi of my 2010-2011 French literature reading project!