François de Chateaubriand: The Genius of Christianity
François-René de Chateaubriand (1768–1848) was the Frenchman most influential in the romanticizing of Catholicism. His Génie du Christianisme (published in 1802), from which selected chapters appear below, made his literary reputation, which had begun with the publication of Atala in 1801, a story of love and Christian faith among American Indians, and was much furthered by the novelette René (included in the Génie) a portrayal of the soul-searching and heartrending efforts of a sensitive youth to find himself and his place in an inimical world. René recalled Goethe’s Werther and the Rousseau of the Confessions, and was to find reflection in Musset’s Confession and in Byronism.
KeywordsLiquid Glass Christian Faith Unsettled State Literary Reputation Eternal Happiness
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