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Stendhal's Parallel Lives Cover Image

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Paperback, Published in Apr 2004 by Peter Lang Gmbh, Internationaler Verlag Der Wissenschaften

ISBN10: 303910148X | ISBN13: 9783039101481

Page count: 494

This book deals with the important and hitherto neglected relationship between the works of Stendhal and Plutarch s Parallel Lives. Stendhal s readings of Plutarch are shown to inform his literary representations of Revolution and Empire, Restoration and Orleanism, as well as his theorizations of Romanticism. In particular, the Plutarchan concept of Parallel Lives is used to analyse one of the major themes of Stendhal s writing: the self-construction of individual identity, whether (auto)biographical or fictional, by means of the emulation (as distinct from the imitation) of heroic exemplars. As a consequence, the balance between irony and idealism often identified by critics in Stendhal s work is shown rather to be an imbalance, weighted in favour of an idealism derived from Plutarchan conceptions of heroism, particularly as they are represented in the Lives of Julius Caesar and Marcus Brutus."

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