Ferdinand Brunetière

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Brunetière, Ferdinand


Born July 19, 1849, in Toulon; died Dec. 9, 1906, in Paris. French critic, historian, and literary theoretician.

Brunetière was an adherent of monarchy and Catholicism. Following H. Taine, he tried to bring the methods of the natural sciences, in particular the theory of C. Darwin, to bear on the history of literature (The Evolution of Genres in the History of Literature, 1890, and others). Later, in the 1890’s, Brunetière went over to an openly idealist position, explaining the literary process by the influence of one work on another, and finding the main reason for the change of literary directions and aesthetic tastes in the artistic aspirations of the creative personality (Textbook on the History of French Literature [1898] and History of French Literature of the Classical Period, vols. 1-2, 1904-12). A devotee of 17th-century French classicism, Brunetière viewed subsequent literary currents (naturalism and others) as phenomena of artistic decline.


Études critiques sur I’histoire de la littérature française, vols 1-9. Paris, 1880-1925.
Questions de critique, 2nd ed. Paris, 1889.
In Russian translation:
Otlichitel’nyi kharakter frantsuzskoi literatury. Odessa, 1893.
Evropeiskaia literatura XIX v. Moscow, 1900.


Arsen’ev, K. K. “Novaia frantsuzskaia kritika.” Vestnik Evropy, 1887, no. 6.
Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959.
Curtius, E. R. F. Brunetière. Strasbourg, 1914.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
D'un cote, on trouve Ferdinand Brunetiere et ses adherents, qui accusent le "baudelairisme" et la doctrine de l'art pour l'art d'avoir corrompu "systematiquement la morale" et deshonore "la notion meme de l'art" (104, 109), et de l'autre cote, Albert Delpit et ses adherents, qui prennent la defense de la poesie de Baudelaire, souvent au nom de "la nouvelle ecole." C'est enfin un Brunetiere excede qui demande a Delpit "une reparation par les armes" (298).
between two literary colossi: Ferdinand Brunetiere, chair of literature
Writers such as Ferdinand Brunetiere, Victor Cousin, and Sainte-Beuve would set the tone for official literary history, in which Moliere was right to roundly mock the salons, and in which only two exceptional women writers (Lafayette and Sevigne) can be found to have existed in seventeenth-century France.
Beasley considers numerous other commentaries in her survey, including those by Stephanie Felicite de Genlis, Ferdinand Brunetiere, Victor Cousin, and Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve.
Entrambe le correnti sono ricondotte alla loro fonte francese, identificabile nella crescente intolleranza --registrabile alla fine dell'Ottocento e affidata ai memorabili affondi di Alfred Fouillee e Ferdinand Brunetiere, pubblicati dalla prestigiosa Revue des deux mondes--verso il materialismo filosofico e il naturalismo letterario.