Search results

Author: Brian Sudlow

This book is a comparative study of the French and English Catholic literary revivals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These parallel but mostly independent movements include writers such as Charles Péguy, Paul Claudel, J. K. Huysmans, Gerard Manley Hopkins, G. K. Chesterton and Lionel Johnson. Rejecting critical approaches that tend to treat Catholic writings as exotic marginalia, this book makes extensive use of secularisation theory to confront these Catholic writings with the preoccupations of secularism and modernity. It compares individual and societal secularisation in France and England and examines how French and English Catholic writers understood and contested secular mores, ideologies and praxis, in the individual, societal and religious domains. The book also addresses the extent to which some Catholic writers succumbed to the seduction of secular instincts, even paradoxically in themes which are considered to be emblematic of the Catholic literature.

Theology, politics, and Newtonian public science

This book explores at length the French and English Catholic literary revivals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These parallel but mostly independent movements include writers such as Charles Péguy, Paul Claudel, J. K. Huysmans, Gerard Manley Hopkins, G. K. Chesterton and Lionel Johnson. Rejecting critical approaches that tend to treat Catholic writings as exotic marginalia, the book makes extensive use of secularisation theory to confront these Catholic writings with the preoccupations of secularism and modernity. It compares individual and societal secularisation in France and England and examines how French and English Catholic writers understood and contested secular mores, ideologies and praxis, in the individual, societal and religious domains. The book also addresses the extent to which some Catholic writers succumbed to the seduction of secular instincts, even paradoxically in themes that are considered to be emblematic of Catholic literature. Its breadth will make it a useful guide for students wishing to become familiar with a wide range of such writings in France and England during this period.

Brian Sudlow

where no such laws had been established. 19 Paul Claudel’s contempt for secularised science was similar to Brunetière’s, though Claudel was always ready to dispense with philosophical or rhetorical niceties: ‘La “science” moderne, misérable et dégoûtante […] grignote des détritus et des hypothèses mortes et sèches.’ 20 Like many Catholic authors, Claudel’s attitude mirrors his contempt for secularised thought in general. Reflecting on the floods in Paris in 1911, Claudel remarked: ‘L’eau mine tout Paris […] comme la pensée impie mine la

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
Brian Sudlow

culture, deism had all but become the operative conceptualisation of God’s relationship to the world. All the French Catholic authors reflect upon this theme in one way or another. God is not remote and uninterested in people, but engaged and attentive to their needs. In Paul Claudel’s Cinq Grandes Odes , for example, the sense of the presence of God and of his creative force is immense. With language bordering on the scriptural, Claudel declares: ‘Mon Dieu qui connaissez chaque homme avant qu’il ne naisse par son nom / Souvenez-vous de moi

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
Abstract only
Brian Sudlow

This book is based on a paradox and a coincidence. The paradox is that at the end of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a period of profound secularisation in France, there emerged a generation of Catholic writers and intellectuals who were convinced that the rumours about God’s death had been greatly exaggerated. The coincidence is that, in the same period, English literature too saw a significant revival in Catholic writing. In France, the late novels of Joris Karl Huysmans, the plays of Paul Claudel and the religious

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
Brian Sudlow

Middle Ages is not universal among French Catholic writers. There is very little trace of such medievalism in Paul Bourget, for example. Paul Claudel praised the Middle Ages but held in esteem the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Counter-Reformation for its resistance to Protestantism. 3 On another tack, Emile Baumann was enamoured with the early Church. This latter tendency was often associated with theological modernists, as we see in Bourget’s Le Démon de midi where Abbé Fauchon celebrates a kind of proto-liturgy based on early Christian sources. In Baumann

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
Brian Sudlow

society. 3 The denunciation of this society required passion, according to Léon Bloy, and only in La Salette did he find a message worthy of the times: ‘Ce n’est plus l’heure de prouver que Dieu existe. L’heure sonne de donner sa vie pour Jésus Christ.’ 4 Paul Claudel was somewhat more cautious, expressing his reservations about ‘les illuminés’ to Louis Massignon, and saying that the Church was rightly prudent about giving approval to such prophetic texts. 5 The caution was warranted. The visions of Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes were followed by a number of copycat

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
Untimely Segalen
Christopher Bush

ostensibly formalist uses of China draw texts back into history, specifically the history of the West’s relationship to China. 13 Here I want to expand on the ways in which the cultural particularity of examples, even in their negated or formalist uses, have consequences for the periodization and the mapping of Segalen’s work, but also ‘French modernism’ more generally. There are three obvious ways in which Segalen’s untimeliness might be historicized. The first is to think of Segalen as a kind of late symbolist, a contemporary of Paul Claudel and Paul Valéry, rather

in 1913: The year of French modernism
W. J. McCormack

clearly demonstrate the vulnerability of an agriculturist, regionalist or visionary politics to peremptory appropriation by emerging fascism. Yet ‘From Democracy to Authority’, Yeats’s Irish Times statement of 16 February 1924, parading the names of Paul Claudel and Benito Mussolini for approval, cannot be explained away in terms of external appropriation

in Dissolute characters
Abstract only
Guy Austin

). Camille Claudel has been termed ‘the climax of a long period of art-historical rehabilitation’ inspired by feminist reassessments of cultural production (Walker 1993 : 79). The sculptor had previously been known, not as an artist in her own right, but as pupil, assistant and mistress to Auguste Rodin in the 1880s and 1890s, and also as the sister of the poet Paul Claudel, who was in fact responsible for her incarceration in an

in Contemporary French cinema