Unfinished Revolutions: Legacies of Upheaval in Modern French Culture (Penn State Studies in Romance Literatures)

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9780271017853: Unfinished Revolutions: Legacies of Upheaval in Modern French Culture (Penn State Studies in Romance Literatures)

Although modern scholars have viewed the French Revolution of 1789 as an event that irrevocably altered the destiny of that nation, it seems today to remain an unfinished task, one that failed to completely achieve its goals of 'liberté, egalité, fraternité.' These essays illustrate the theme of 'unfinished revolution' in modern France from a variety of historical perspectives, all showing how the Revolution continues to influence that country to the present day. Contributors from history, sociology, literature, politics, and the history of science discuss both how the Revolution was interpreted during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and how it is being completed in the postmodern age.Scholars including Henri Mitterand and Henri Mendras here focus on specific examples of the ongoing conflicts between proponents and opponents of revolution. The articles consider a broad spectrum of topics ranging from the novels of Hugo and Zola and writings of the French Romantics to the symbolic function of the Panth on, the relevance of the Revolution to the 1889 Universal Exposition, and the continuing progress of democratization in France.Unfinished Revolutions shows that any viable definition of French culture rests on an ongoing examination of values inherited from institutions that have shaped the French character both before and after the Revolution. By offering penetrating glimpses into facets of the unfinished nature of revolutions, it invites readers to rethink basic questions concerning history and its reappropriation.

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About the Author:

Robert T. Denomme is Douglas Huntly Gordon Professor Emeritus of French and Roland H. Simon is Associate Professor of French, both at the University of Virginia.

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