From a friend's email:
"As is my usual practice, I sent Noam Chomsky a Christmas card this past December. Chomsky responded with a brief note, as he has on a few occasions in the past. In my card I had quoted the line from Gramsci about "pessimisn of the intellect, optimism of the will." Chomsky claims that the line in fact comes from Romain Roland originally.
My question to you is, who the hell is Romain Roland? I gather he's some kind of French author with leftie sympathies. Know anything about him? Stanford's library does not have a single book in English by or about him. A google search for his name turned up the quote "The optimism of the soul outweighs the pessimism of the mind." That's close to what Gramsci said, but there's no source given for Roland (not that I know where Gramsci says the same thing)."