Chamfort: A Biography / Edition 2

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Sébastien Roch Nicolas Chamfort (1740-1794), whom Nietzsche called the "wittiest of all moralists," is now known for little more than brillian aphorisms that captivated a long line of thinkers, from Stendhal to Cioran, Schopenhauer to Camus. Yet the fascination of Chamfort's life is barely suggested by the fragments of writing that have survived him. In Claude Arnaud's captivating biography, Chamfort the libertine, playwright, journalist, and revolutionary stands revealed as the most telling emblem of his times.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Chamfort, ne one `e' for masc. form Sebastien Nicholas 1740-1794, a French playwright and journalist known for his pungent aphorisms, was the illegitimate son of an aristocratic mother and a cleric, but was raised by a grocer. In this academic biography, French historian Arnaud postulates that the dichotomy between Chamfort's ancestry and his upbringing haunted him and was partially responsible for his switch in allegiance from a partisan participant in the ancien regime to an outspoken supporter of the French Revolution in 1789. His gloomy view of life, reflected in his quips ``There are more people who want to be loved than there are people who want to love'', was allegedly triggered by a bout with a disfiguring venereal disease. Despite sincere revolutionary sympathies, he was caught up in the Terror, and died in a clumsy suicide. Scholars will welcome information on this neglected 18th-century writer. June
This biography of the famed French aphorist (1740-1794) is also a critical essay on Chamfort's literary and historical influence and includes a selection of his maxims, anecdotes, and aphorisms. Translated from the original French edition of 1988 by Deke Dusinberre. With a foreword by Joseph Epstein. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226026978
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/1992
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 374
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Chamfort: An Introduction by Joseph Epstein
Author's Acknowledgments
Translator's Acknowledgments
1. A Negative Fairy Tale
2. Early Struggle against Anonymity
3. The Mask
4. Herculean Adonis
5. Shattered Illusions
6. Little Balloon
7. Ironclad in Repelling Evil, a Wax Mold in Accepting Good . . .
8. A Cabal against Mustapha
9. Auteuil-Passy
10. Love, and Only Love
11. Long Live Mirabeau! And Long Live the Charmer!
12. Julie
13. From Moralist to Volcano
14. Half Cockscomb, Half Poppy
15. The Palais-Royal Powderkeg
16. The Bastille
17. Normalcy
18. Shattered Dreams
19. The Académie Dismembered by a Member
20. Doing Away with the Self
21. The Monarchy's Death Throes
22. A Bad Dream
23. His Own Executioner
24. . . . From the Dead
25. Nietzsche-Chamfort
1. The Theft of Chamfort's Manuscripts
2. Portraits of Chamfort
3. Unanthologized Aphorisms and Anecdotes
4. A Chamfort Sampler
Published Articles and Essays
Principal Editions of Chamfort's Works
General Source Material
Contemporary Publications
Contemporary Periodicals
Biographies of Chamfort

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