Memoires d'Outre-Tombe (English Edition)

Memoires d'Outre-Tombe (English Edition)

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Overview

A complete and unabridged translation into English by A. S. Kline. Annotated with a fully hyperlinked index of 4450 footnotes to the Memoirs.

Chateaubriand's Mémoires d'outre-tombe, his Memoirs from Beyond the Grave, is at once sublime literature, brilliant history seen by a fiercely intelligent eye-witness, and a self-portrait of a remarkable and complex man. Chateaubriand is one of that worldly, intellectually-restless literary set, including Goethe and Byron, who may be said to have founded and developed the wider European Romantic movement, granting it social relevance and gaining it an extensive European and North American audience.

Chateaubriand's long life saw him take on the roles of soldier, traveller, literary giant, politician and diplomat. But it is the humane, charming, fallible, private individual who endears himself to the reader in these pages. His many loves and friendships, his admiration for the brilliant women he knew, his warm interpretation of religion, and his conciliatory politics, all add to the vision of a great human being, in the French humanist tradition of Montaigne.

Living through the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Empire, the Bourbon Restoration, and the subsequent July Monarchy, dying during the Revolution of 1848, he was witness to an endlessly dramatic and fiercely contested period of history. His interpretation of that history is as a man of faith and a staunch proponent of constitutional Monarchy, yet with visible Republican sympathies and, for his time, a remarkable lack of bigotry. His autobiography here is a valuable corrective to a dogmatic view of that history often propounded by pro-Republican or pro-Napoleonic writings.

His travels in North America, Europe and the Middle-East also qualify him as the first intellectual 'tourist', and his narrative allows him to demonstrate his wide interest in nature, scenery, the arts, and humanity. The length and resonant complexity of the Memoirs allows us to enter fully into his world, and his literary legacy can be detected in writers such as Baudelaire and Proust, where his feeling for life's transience, the profound echoes of time past, and the moral dimensions of human existence are further developed and extended.

Once encountered Chateaubriand is unforgettable, and the Memoirs deserve much wider literary and historical recognition. They have suffered from an unmerited neglect, due to their extent, and the previous lack of a complete English translation, a lack which is here remedied, the work being further enriched by a fully detailed index.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940159144393
Publisher: Poetry in Translation
Publication date: 03/23/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

François-René, Vicomte de Chateaubriand, was born at Saint-Malo in Brittany in 1768. Antipathetic to the French Revolution, he travelled to North America in 1791. Two later works derived from that period, René, and Atala, evidencing the new sensibility, greatly influenced the development of the Romantic Movement in France. On his return to France in 1792 he married, fought for the Bourbon army, was wounded at Thionville, and subsequently lived in exile in England. He returned to France in 1800, and it was a substantial literary defence of Christianity which attracted Napoleon’s notice and led to his employment by the Emperor at Rome and in Switzerland. Ultimately however Napoleon’s actions led to Chateaubriand’s resignation in 1804, after the execution of the Duc d’Enghien.

He travelled widely from 1806, in Europe and the Middle East, and highly critical of Napoleon followed the King into exile in 1815 in Ghent during the Hundred Days. Raised to the peerage at the Restoration, he entered into a complex relationship with the monarchy which led to him supporting the future Charles X. He subsequently served as ambassador to Prussia and the United Kingdom, and was Minister of Foreign affairs from 1822 to 1824.

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