Courier de Méré, Paul-Louis

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Courier de Méré, Paul-Louis

 

Born Jan. 4, 1772, in Paris; died Apr. 10, 1825, on the estate of La Chavonnière, Véretz, in the department of Indre-et-Loire. French writer, publicist, Greek philologist, and translator.

Courier de Méré was the son of a landowner. He took part in Napoleon’s Italian campaign (1796–97). As an irreconcilable opponent of the Restoration regime, he was subjected to prosecution and imprisonment. In his numerous pamphlets, he castigated police tyranny, repressive censorship, and the system of parliamentary elections. He criticized social abuses from the standpoint of the common peasant and wine-maker, the main character in his pamphlets. Courier de Méré combined a stylized imitation of popular speech with the clarity and purity of classical French prose. His writings are one of the early forms of critical realism in France. In his Pamphlet About Pamphlets (1824), Courier de Méré presented a theoretical justification for his literary activity, regarding the pamphlet as a powerful means of social struggle.

WORKS

Oeuvres complètes. Bibliothèque de la Pléiade. [Paris, 1951.]
Pamphlets politiques choisis. Introduction and notes by Jean Guillon. Paris, 1961.
In Russian translation:
Pamflety. Moscow, 1957.

REFERENCES

Engels, F. “Brentano contra Marks.” In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 22, p. 121.
Tarie, E. “P.-L. Kur’e.” In Istoriia zapadnoi literatury (1810–1910), vol. 2, ch. 8. Edited by F. D. Batiushkov. Moscow, 1913.
Narkir’er, F. S. “P.-L. Kur’e.” In Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 2. Moscow, 1956.
Gachet, R. La Vie et la mort tragique de P.-L. Courier. Paris, 1914.
Arbelet, P. Trois solitaires: Courier, Stendhal, Mérimée. Paris, 1934.
Fornairon, E. Le Mystère de la Chavonnière. Paris, 1941.
Cahiers P.-L. Courier: Bulletin édité par la Société des amis de P. L. Courier, 1968–1972, nos. 1–8.

F. S. NARKIR’ER