Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve

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Sainte-Beuve, Charles Augustin


Born Dec. 23, 1804, in Boulogne-sur-Mer; died Oct. 13, 1869, in Paris. French critic and writer.

In his Survey of 16th-century French Poetry and Drama (1828), Sainte-Beuve asserted that romanticism was a literary program that owed its origin to the French Revolution. The work appealed for creative freedom, innovative poetic forms, and the introduction into literature of heroes from the common people. Sainte-Beuve also wrote the collections of lyric poetry The Life, Poetry, and Thoughts of Joseph Delorme (1829) and Consolations (1830). In the 1830’s he published essays on French writers of the 17th to 19th centuries, later included in the collection Literary Portraits (vols. 1–5, 1836–39). He also published the novel Delight (1834) and the historical and literary study Port-Royal (1840–59).

Beginning in 1849, Sainte-Beuve wrote critical articles that were published on Mondays in Parisian newspapers. These articles were collected in the multivolume series Monday Chats (1851–62) and its continuation, New Mondays (1863–70). Using historical, psychological, and philosophic critical methods, Sainte-Beuve sought for the sources of literary movements in history itself, rejecting dogmatic critical traditions. He dealt with such aesthetic problems as the artist and society, art and the revolutionary movement, the degree of truthfulness in literary works, and the expression of national spirit in literature. Sainte-Beuve was able to revolutionize critical methods in evaluating the heritage of many French writers owing to his keen sense of the historical and psychological atmosphere of each epoch and a sensitive comprehension of aesthetic ideals.


Etudes des lundis et des portraits, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1930.
Les Plus Belles Lettres de Sainte-Beuve. Introduced by A. Billy. Paris [1962].
In Russian translation:
Literaturnye portrety, kriticheskie ocherki. Moscow, 1970. (See article by M.S. Treskunov.)


Oblomievskii, D. D. Frantsuzskii romantism. Moscow, 1947.
Michaut, G. Sainte-Beuve. Paris, 1921.
Billy, A. Sainte-Beuve: Savie et son temps, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1952.
Regard, M. Sainte-Beuve. Paris [1960]. (Contains bibliography.)
Sainte-Beuve et la critique littéraire contemporaine: Actes du colloque. Liège, 1969; Paris, 1972.
Correspondance générale, vols. 1–16. Paris, 1935–70.
Bonnerot, J. Bibliographie de l’oeuvre de Sainte-Beuve [vols.] 1–3. Paris, 1937–52.


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El gran critico del siglo XIX, Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, y uno de sus mas torrenciales creadores, Victor Hugo, fueron buenos amigos.
Hence, sponsored successively by Xavier de Maistre, Johann Wolf-gang von Goethe, and Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, Topffer subsequently brought upon himself Theophile Gautier's scorn.
Fumaroli revived and refined the 18th-century concept of the essay, which had achieved a high point during the Second Empire and the first decades of the Third Republic in the hands of such masters of the French language as Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, famous for his Causeries du lundi and his brief Portraits, and the Goncourt brothers, Edmond and Jules, whose essays on 18th-century artists made a profound impact.
Dewald portrays the literary critic Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve (1804-69) as the influential, informal leader of younger writers--including Hippolyte Taine and Ernest Renan--who wrote for a large public audience and drew on literary or unofficial sources to describe popular culture, religion, and social life among the popular classes.
Many of the individuals with whom Reclus conferred were strongly influenced by Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve (1804-69), the man who revolutionized French literary criticism by severing the academic discipline from partisanship and prejudice (Lehmann, 1962).
He was appointed, in 1868, to alternate with Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve as literary critic for Le Constitutionnel, and on Sainte-Beuve's death in 1869 he became sole critic.
Several key figures in this (re-) invention of the salon are discussed, especially Victor Cousin, Pierre-Louis Roederer, and, above all, Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve.
As a critic, Busken Huet took the French dean of critics, Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, and the Danish Georg Brandes as his guides and sought to bring Dutch literature into closer touch with other European cultures.
Parmi les plus importants, on retrouve un compte-rendu de La Recherche de l'Absolu par Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve pour la Revue des Deux Mondes (65-79); une longue etude a la fois biographique et analytique d'Hippolyte Taine (195-245); l'article "Balzac" redige par Pierre Larousse pour son Grand Dictionnaire universel du XIXe siecle (261-82); sans oublier les analyses des inevitables Gustave Lanson, sur le style et la correspondance de Balzac (319-35) ainsi qu'une preface aux Chouans (447-50), et Emile Faguet, sur le regain de popularite dont jouit l'ecrivain a la fin du dix-neuvieme siecle (351-66).
Three years later, Hugo and the critic Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve formed a cenacle at Hugo's house on the rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, where other young writers, including Prosper Merimee, Theophile Gautier, and Gerard de Nerval, joined the group.
These insights also accounted for his fame and influence on his disciples: in England, Lord Chesterfield and Thomas Hardy; in Germany, Friedrich Nietzsche and Georg Christoph Lichtenberg; in France, Stendhal, Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, and Andre Gide.

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