The Passion of Charles Peguy: Literature, Modernity, and the Crisis of Historicism

Hardcover | October 29, 2014

byGlenn H. Roe

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In many ways, the development of twentieth-century literary criticism and theory can be seen as a prolonged struggle against the pervading influence of nineteenth-century positivist historicism. Anglo-American New Criticism and later French Post-structuralism and Deconstruction are thebest-known instances of this conflict. Less widely known, but no less important to contemporary literary studies, are Charles Peguy's earlier debates with French academic historicism in the years leading up to World War One. First examined by Antoine Compagnon in his ground-breaking work LaTroisieme Republique des lettres in 1983, it is a period in French literary and cultural history that remains, some thirty years later, largely untreated in English. This book thus addresses an important, albeit relatively unexplored, moment in the development of twentieth-century literary history and theory. By way of Peguy's foundational polemics with modernity and his role in the related "crisis of historicism", we gain a better understanding of the criticalbasis from which similar anti-positivist and anti-historicist critiques were later enacted on both sides of the Atlantic. In situating Peguy's passions and polemics within the larger cultural and historical context, Glenn H. Roe invites us to reconsider and re-evaluate Peguy's place amongtwentieth-century literary figures. Beyond its literary-critical aspects, The Passion of Charles Peguy provides a general view of early twentieth-century debates related to the role of literary studies in modern society, the reform of the French educational system, and the formation of literaryhistory as an academic discipline in both France and abroad.

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In many ways, the development of twentieth-century literary criticism and theory can be seen as a prolonged struggle against the pervading influence of nineteenth-century positivist historicism. Anglo-American New Criticism and later French Post-structuralism and Deconstruction are thebest-known instances of this conflict. Less widely ...

Glenn H. Roe is a Lecturer in Literary Studies and Digital Humanities at the Australian National University. He received his Ph.D. with honours in French literature from the University of Chicago before taking up a Mellon Fellowship in Digital Humanities at the University of Oxford. He has published and presented widely on modern Fren...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:October 29, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198718071

ISBN - 13:9780198718079

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Metaphysics of Modern History2. The End of the Affair3. Chronicler of Heroes and Saints4. Against Lanson5. A Philosophy of HopeConclusionBibliography