Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve

Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve

Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve

Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve

Excerpt

Whatever the merits or the faults of this book, it has the advantage of being the first one in the English language devoted to the life and works of Sainte-Beuve. Criticism is not so highly honoured in English-speaking countries as in France, and it has perhaps been taken for granted that to criticise a critic would be carrying the thing too far. For of course to write a man's life is to criticise him. Yet Sainte-Beuve was a pervading force in the intellectual history of his time. His influence was European. It has become world-wide. And if, as is not improbable, the nineteenth century should appear more and more a century of critical thought, a period of preparation for a new synthesis, the attention of mankind will be drawn still further to the figure of Sainte-Beuve. The last six or seven years have seen a revival of interest in his life, giving birth to a bewildering profusion of articles about him in the French reviews. Portions of his correspondence are constantly appearing, and the indefatigable M. Léon Séché threatens to surprise us from day to day with fresh revelations.

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