Charles Maurras

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Maurras, Charles

 

Born Apr. 20, 1868, in Martigues, Bouches-du-Rhône; died Nov. 16, 1952, in Tours. French publicist, critic, and poet.

In 1899, Maurras joined the royalist group that had arisen around the biweekly journal Revue de l’Action française; in 1908, the journal became the daily newspaper L’Action française, whose guiding spirit was Maurras. In his articles, Maurras called for discipline and order in society; he asserted the beneficial nature of hereditary monarchy and Catholicism and declared the superiority of the “Latin race” over other peoples. He set forth his political ideas in Enquiry Concerning Monarchy (1900–09) and Kiel and Tangier (1910). Maurras regarded 17th-century classicism as his ethical and aesthetic standard. He wrote a number of books discrediting romanticism and praising the Greco-Roman sources of French culture; among these are The Road to Paradise (1894), Anthinéa (1901), The Lovers of Venice (1902), and The Future of Intelligence (1905).

In his poetry of the 1890’s, Maurras founded the école romane, which opposed symbolism; in essence this was only a variety of the decadent and symbolist movements (the collections For the Sake of Psyche, published separately in 1911, and Inscriptions, 1921). During World War II, Maurras was a rabid chauvinist. During World War II he was the official ideologist of the Pétain government, which collaborated with the fascist German invaders.

WORKS

Oeuvres capitales, vols. 1–4. Paris [1954].
Critique et poésie. Paris, 1968.

REFERENCES

Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959.
Massis, H. Maurras et notre temps. Paris [1961]

V. E. SHOR

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Moins important mais digne d'etre signale, le fait que Groulx et Maurras ont parfois lu les memes livres; les deux ont medite les oeuvres de Joseph de Maistre, Frederic Le Play, Hippolyte Taine et Maurice Barres.
Massis and Maurras realize the inherent "orientalism" of their philosopher.
Eliot, no Roy Campbell, no Charles Maurras, no Paul Valery, and no Paul Claudel came to the party, let alone to the Party.
In time there followed the papal prohibition of Action Francaise, a mass movement of romantic reaction led by a poet, Charles Maurras, whose work is now little read.
Charles Maurras was 'a man of great charm, striking presence and high intelligence, and, but for his devotion to the cause of the Action francaise, would long since have been elected a member of the French Academy .
The emergence of Petain's government produced, in the words of Action Francaise leader Charles Maurras, a "divine surprise," (1) a conjunction [conjoncture] when a previously minoritarian political Right could promulgate its vision of an eternal France of terroir [region], village, and farm.
Some of these families, such as the traditionalist Catholics/old-style conservative nationalists, from de Maistre to Maurras to Le Pen (well, some nuances are needed here, but I don't have time for them) also happen to be rather, and in some cases virulently and viciously, anti-Semitic.
The year 1926 saw the condemnation by Rome of the Action Francaise of which Bernanos had been a member before World War I; then, only a few years later, he had a painful public dispute with Charles Maurras, the leader of the Action Francaise whom he had admired and supported.
The anti-Dreyfusards, led by the writer Charles Maurras and by Paul Deroulede, countered with the League of the French Fatherland, dedicated to defending the honor of France and its army.
As late as 1948 Eliot took Maurras as his spiritual guide and (perhaps alluding to Brasillach's book) wrote: "Maurras, pour certains d'entre nous, representait une sorte de Virgile qui nous conduisait aux portes du temple.
Entre Bossuet et Maurras draws from these fields but focuses on the importance of anti-Protestantism for the Catholic clergy between 1815 and 1870.
1) Eliot, who had been introduced to the neo-classical ideas of Maurras while under the tutelage of Irving Babbitt at Harvard, found the rhetoric swelling out of the aftermath of the Vatican condemnation to be distasteful and one-sided.