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French Literature Of The 19th Century:
 De Maupassant

 Poetry And The Drama

 History, Philosophy, Criticism

 Renan

 Taine

 Recent Critics

 Read More Articles About: French Literature Of The 19th Century

History, Philosophy, Criticism

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

The French Academy has no brighter names on its roll than those of Renan and Taine. Each in his department and degree shed bright luster on the literature of the half-century. If style can be regarded, as some claim, apart from the subject matter it illuminates as in itself a source of intellectual good, then French literature may be proud of its two glorifiers of the themes usually dulled by the absence of their art. With the advent of these great writers it was perceived that the gravest subjects and solid scholarship could be endowed with high literary charm, giving a glow as of romance to the hitherto cold records of special fields of research. In this aspect the service these men rendered to their country is greater than that of their several contributions to knowledge. They disclosed the secrets which had been supposed the peculiar property of belles-lettres, and demonstrated that they belonged in common to all craftsmen who knew how to use them in the fashioning of learned works. Their example told with varied effect on many disciples in their country and out of it, on the whole with undoubted benefit to literature generally, and to the special gain of all who study in their departments.

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