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date: 06 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Romanticism was often construed in France, not least after Mme de Staël, as a German phenomenon, given over to philosophy and the pleasures of the imagination. But Henri Beyle, as he set about constructing Stendhal, sought to lay claim to expertise not just in German but in European Romanticism more generally. Stendhal spent much of his considerable free time between his expulsion from Milan in 1821 and the 1830 Revolution posing as an expert on Romanticism, whether German, English, Scottish or Italian. Yet this chapter argues that Le Rouge is at least as Romantic as it is Realist and that this novel, as well as many of Stendhal’s subsequent literary productions across a wide variety of genres, not only maintained his dialogue with various currents of European Romanticism, but also reflected his ongoing, highly critical engagement with the multiple strands of French Romanticism.

Keywords: Romanticism, Realism, Stendhal, Napoleon, autobiography, politics, sexual difference, France.

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