Stendhal , of its true name Henri Beyle (January 23rd 1783, Grenoble - March 23rd 1842, Paris) is a writer French, famous for the smoothness of analysis of the feelings of its characters and for the dryness deliberated on its style. Stendhal had to choose its pseudonym in homage to Johann Joachim Winckelmann, founder of the modern archeology, which was born with Stendal in Saxony-Anhalt (Germany). Another assumption is that its pseudonym comes from Shetland Islands, from which it is the anagram; a place that Stendhal liked.
It took part in the wars of the Révolution and the Empire as officer of dragons and military intendant.
1783-1821: First yearsStendhal is born street from the Old Jesuits (today street Jean-Jacques Rousseau) with Grenoble in a middle-class family which he appreciates little. His/her mother, whom he loved much, dies whereas he is seven years old. His/her father gives him then for tutor the Raillane abbot, and the Henri young person will suffer from the tyranny of the ecclesiastic: “I hated the abbot, I hated my father, source of the capacities of the abbot, I hated even more the religion in the name of which they tyrannized me. ”
In 1796, it enters to the central School of Grenoble. In October 1799, it leaves to Paris to pass the contest of the Polytechnic school. It gives up being presented and will be very disappointed by the capital, where it falls ill. Of 1800 with 1801, it takes part in the countryside of Italy where it is named Sous-lieutenant within the 6th regiment of dragons. Returned with Paris, it tries to be made a place, in the trade, literary success or by alluring women.
In 1805, he becomes the lover of the actress Melanie Guilbert and he follows it to Marseilles and tests with the trade, without much motivation, nor great success besides. But, these years of training will have a great influence on the character of Julien Sorel in the Red and the Black . It is named listener with the Council of State the August 3rd 1810. Starting from 1810, it takes part in the administration and the Napoleonean wars.
In 1812, it works with the Histoire of Painting in Italy . In August, it goes to Moscow where it will be pilot fire which devastates the city after the entry of the Large army in September. In November, at the time of the Retirement of Russia, it loses the manuscript of the Histoire of Painting in Italy .
In 1818, Stendhal works with a Vie of Napoleon . It is also the year when it meets that with which it will live a great passion, Mathilde Dembowski ( Métilde ), that it follows the following year to Volterra.
For this period, he writes several works around Italy like Of the love . In 1821, because he is shown of sympathy to the Carbonarisme - affection particularly felt in the news Vanina Vanini - he is expelled of Milan.
1821-1831: Literary rise
Of return to Paris, almost ruined after the death of his father, it enters the literary circle by attending literary living rooms. Thus, it has its Cénacle and has even a disciple in the person of Prosper Mérimée. He writes newspapers, publishes tests. He was in addition freemason, having been initiated in 1806 in the cabin Holy-Caroline of the Great East.
In 1827, it publishes its Romance first , Armance , followed in 1830 of the Red and the Black , partly influenced by the revolution of July 1830. This novel will be a nice success. After this revolution, it is named consul with Civitavecchia.
1831-1842: Last works, last voyages
With Civitavecchia, it is bored and leaves to travel. It does not succeed in finishing works which it begins ( Souvenirs of egotism , Lucien Leuwen …). After having completed its last masterpiece, Chartreuse of Parma , in 1839, it dies in the night of the 22 with the March 23rd 1842 of a heart attack. Its skin is buried with the Cimetière of Montmartre to Paris.
Novels of Stendhal
The work of Stendhal consists as well of autobiographical texts ( Life of Henri Brulard for example) as in novels which count among most beautiful in the French literature: Red and the Black , Lucien Leuwen , Chartreuse of Parma . This last novel was greeted with its first publication by a praise of Honore de Balzac, another Master of the Romance realistic whose Stendhal itself was declared fortunately surprised.
- This article astonishing, (...) I read it, (...) while bursting of laughing. All the times that I arrived at a a little strong praise (...) I saw the mine which my friends would make by reading it
The Red and the Black are the first large novel of Stendhal. It is the first novel to bind way so subtle description of social reality of its time and the romantic action according to Erich Auerbach in its famous study Mimesis . Julien Sorel, the principal hero of the book, is the pure one produced of his time in a certain direction. Literally drunk of ambition because of reading of Memorial of Grey waxbill of Napoleon and conscious that since the Revolution it is the merit and either the birth alone which counts, he dreams to become itself new Bonaparte.
Realism at Stendhal
Stendhal “did not only apply” a certain realistic esthetics: he thought it initially. The realism of Stendhal it is also the will to make novel a “mirror” i.e. a simple reflection of social reality and one time old policy in all its hardness. Stendhal wrote besides that “the novel, it is a mirror which one walks along a way”.
In Root and Shakespeare , it assigns to have with art romantic to make an art which will be in adequacy with the tastes and tendencies of the people. The realism of Stendhal it is initially the will to paint facts able to interest its contemporaries (Monarchy of July in Lucien Leuwen , Restauration in Red and the Black , defeat and return of the Austrians in Chartreuse of Parma ).
On the other hand, Stendhal depicts with preoccupation with a psychological realism, feelings of the main characters. It is even often inspired theories relating to the love by its treaty Of the love and tries to make work of rigorous psychologist.
The feelings in love are depicted with much care: the Narrateur lengthily exposes the birth of passion in love and its adventures: cf Mrs. de Rênal and Julien - Julien and Mathilde of the Mole - Lucien Leuwen and Mrs. de Chasteller - Fabrice and Clélia.
Realism in the painting of manners and the companythe Red and the Black and Lucien Leuwen are a sour painting of the company under the Restauration, as the subtitle of the novel indicates it the Red and the Black : “Chronic of 1830”. Lucien Leuwen is the vast table of the Monarchie of July. Chartreuse of Parma is a painting of the political practices in Italian Monarchies of the 19th century. These novels are thus political not by the presence of long political reflections (Stendhal rejects such a process and comparecompares it with a shot in a concert in the Red and the Black ) but by the painting of the facts.
the Red and the Black and Chartreuse of Parma are also sour criticisms of the subordinate position of the woman: cf feminist interpretation by Simone de Beauvoir of the novels of Stendhal ( in the Second Sex ).
The painting of manners at Stendhal never wants to be impartial but critical: she is not justified by sociological will but by concern of making fall the pretenses and of showing “the truth, the rough truth” (currency of the first book of Red and the Black ) of the company of her time.
In spite of its realism there are no detailed Description S of material reality. The narrator describes hardly the places. Glass cf description of to the whole beginning of the novel which takes just a page and which is used as introduction to a sour criticism of the inhabitants. One knows nothing either the Hotel of the Mole ( Red and the Black ) nor of Milan or of the Castle of the Marquis Del Dongo ( Chartreuse of Parma ).
The painting of the places is “functional”. The narrator does not describe the world solely insofar as it is necessary for the action. The prison of Fabrice is described carefully because it constitutes an essential place for the action of Chartreuse of Parma .
The narrator describes hardly the characters: one knows almost nothing the toilets of Mrs. de Rênal, Mathilde or on that of Julien, Lucien Leuwen or Fabrice if it is not the color of hair and some details on their aspect, mentioned very briefly.
But the painting of material reality is done discrete because of the characteristics of the novel stendhalien. The topic of the money is often related to supporting characters or hateful (Mr. de Rênal, the Marquis Del Dongo): the attention of the reader turns rather to the principal protagonists who are well far from such concern (Fabrice, Mrs. de Rênal, Lucien Leuwen). The novel of Stendhal is fast (its characters are often hardly 20 years old) whereas description requires a pause in the narration.
The other limits “realism” of Stendhal is due to the romantic one. The romantic cross-piece all its novels. The hero stendhalien is a romantic figure. The character of Julien is intelligent, nourishes a major hatred for his contemporaries, ambitious until the madness. Fabrice is a exalté and impassioned young man. Lucien Leuwen is an idealistic young man and well done his person.
Moreover the policy in Chartreuse of Parma is definitely less important than in the Red and the Black and Lucien Leuwen . It is especially the history which plays a part (Waterloo, arrived of the French troops at Milan in 1796). And still it is inseparable from the romantic action. Chartreuse of Parma is romantic definitely more marked than the two other large novels (cf characters of the Sanseverina Duchess or Clélia). Stendahlien realism is thus limited to the others and not has its characters what will not be the case at Zola
Subjective realism at Stendhal
But realism at Stendhal is made also subjective realism without that being a contradiction. By subjective realism one understands one of the fundamental processes of the control of the account at Stendhal. G. Blin, in Stendhal and the problems of the Novel , is one of those which proposed this process.
The great originality of Stendhal is the important use of the “focusing intern” (to take again the terminology of Gerard Genette) to tell the events. The events are seen mainly by the protagonists even by only one of them. Stendhal thus refuses the point of view of the omniscient but practical narrator the “restriction of field”. In the Red and the Black and in Lucien Leuwen the events are seen in the ray of Julien Sorel and Lucien. In Chartreuse of Parma the narrator recognized the right to watch of the other characters (Clélia, Mosca, Sanseverina) but Fabrice Del Dongo keeps the principal focus (the scene of the battle of Waterloo remains paradigmatic). One can thus speak about a restriction of field at Stendhal (Blin). Stendhal cut indeed its accounts of “streams of consciousness” and brought back the novel to the biography of the hero. The three large novels start with the youth of the hero or start even front (cf Chartreuse of Parma ) and finish with its death (cf Red and the Black and Chartreuse of Parma ).
First consequence of the restriction of the field: descriptions are short at Stendhal. They are the work of an external narrator who sees the aspect of the characters of the outside or of a narrator who observes nature. Such a narrator is incompatible with the “restriction of the field” and he thus plays a secondary part at Stendhal.
The choice of the restriction of the field also explains why certain characters appear or disappear also quickly from the action (like the Count of the Mole in Red and the Black and Rassi in Chartreuse of Parma ) because all is seen by the eyes of a central figure.
Third consequence of the recourse to the restriction of field: the events are revealed gradually. The heroes of Stendhal are astonished often a little by what they see and includes/understands any the direction only gradually. It is only little by little that Julien includes/understands why Miss of the Mole appears one day in mourning clothes whereas nobody has just died around it. Julien will discover later on that it carries the mourning of a died ancestor at the 16th century…
The work of Stendhal is deeply autobiographical. Even its novels so much they are inspired by its own life but also because they constitute an ideal autobiography of Stendhal. Julien Sorel, Lucien Leuwen and Fabrice Del Dongo is what Stendhal would have dreamed to be.
Autobiographical works of Stendhal are of three natures. On the one hand Stendhal held during very long years a Journal where he progressively tells the events of his life. One could speak about a catch on the sharp one of his own life. In addition Stendhal wrote two other autobiographical philosopher's stones: the Life of Henri Brulard and Memories of egotism . They continue the same project as the Journal but also that the Confessions of Rousseau: to better know oneself. However they are distinguished from the Journal because they were written a posteriori. Lastly, the Autobiographie takes a quite particular form at Stendhal: he liked to write on with the margin his books (and even of its Romance S but in a cryptic way) or on clothing (for example on a Ceinture as in the Vie of Henri Brulard).
The autobiographical work of Stendhal is not characterized as well by its project (Rousseau continued the same one) as by the importance that it takes. It is expressed as well by novels as by autobiographies. Even the Critique of Art at Stendhal is made autobiography.
The romanticism stendhalien
The independent arts person and artistic
Stendhal was not only one novelist and an autobiographer but also fine an critic art whose esthetic reflection influenced romantic work (particularly with its theory of the beautiful ideal), as well as the appreciation of the visual arts and the music.
Let us quote Histoire of Painting in Italy , Rome, Naples and Florence , Promenades in Rome , Mémoires of a tourist .
true specialist, false dilettanteSet on lyric art, in love with the Italy, as its writings testify some, it is him which made known Rossini with Paris and in France. Work of second half of the 20th century revealed its pictorial matter competence and musical, its familiarity with its painters, his vast experiment world of the music of its time as well instrumental, lyric, allemande or Italian. But especially Stendhal was a true specialist in the Italian Opéra and Italian Peinture . Although it was presented in the form of a dilettante, one owes him of the very fine analyzes of Rossini, Mozart, of Léonard de Vinci, (painter of the melancholy), obscure light of the corrégien, or michelangelesque violence . and
principles of its criticismIts coherent criticism rests on the Expression , which relieves the stopped forms and the ancient Beautiful, the Modernity which implies the artistic invention for a public in constant evolution, and the subordination of the Beautiful to the opinion alone, Useful the which gives real pleasure to a company, individuals, and the dilettantism which rests on the pure emotion of the critic. and. Stendhal founds a historical criticism thus, (art being the one time expression), asserts the right to subjectivity, he admits the convergence of arts and their importance according to whether they get or not physical pleasure, that they open the spirit with the freedom of imaginary and that they cause passion. (basic principle). Stendhal is an art critic which marks a big step in the intelligence of all arts.
Published works of alive sound
Lives of Haydn, Mozart and Métastase (complete title of the first edition: Written letters of Vienna in Austria, on the famous Haydn type-setter, followed by a life of Mozart, and considerations on Metastasis and the state present of the music to France and Italy ), Paris 1815
- History of Painting to Italy , Paris, 1817
- Rome, Naples and Florence , Angouleme, 1817 and 1827
- Of the love , Paris, 1822
- Root and Shakespeare , Paris, 1823
- Life of Rossini , Paris, 1823
- Root and Shakespeare, II , Paris, 1825
- Of a new plot against the industrialists , Paris, 1825
- Armance. Some scenes of a living room of Paris in 1827 , Paris, 1827
- Walks in Rome , Paris, 1829
- Red and the black , Paris, 1830
- Memories of a tourist , Paris, 1838
- Chartreuse of Parma , Paris, 1839
- Chronic Italian: Vittoria Accoramboni, Cenci, the Duchess of Palliano, Abesse of Castro, Too much keep silent favor, Suora Scolastica, San Francesco has Ripa, Vanina Vanini , Paris, 1837 - 1839
- Italian Idées on some famous tables , Paris, 1840
- Newspaper (1801 - 1817)
- Filosofia nova (1931)
- Theater (1931)
- Molière, Shakespeare, the Comedy and the Laughter (1930)
- Italian Schools of painting (1932)
- Pages of Italy (1932)
- Mixtures of policy and history (1933)
- English Mail (1935 - 1936)
- Mixtures of art (1867 and 1932)
- Romance and new (1854 and 1928)
- Memories of egotism 1892 and 1950)
- Lucien Leuwen , unfinished (1894 and 1926)
- Life of Henri Brulard (1890 and 1949)
- Voyage in the South of France (1930)
- Lamiel , unfinished (1889 and 1928)
- Homogeneous mixtures and Marginalia (1936)
- the Pink and the Green (1928)
- the critic Charles Of the Boss (1882-1939) said that Stendhal: makes fun of logic when this one is only speech .
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