Chamfort : in english/ dans les pays anglo-saxons
(LA TRADUCTION EN FRANÇAIS DES ARTICLES QUI SUIVENT SE trouve DANS LA SECONDE MOITIÉ DE CETTE PAGE)
*Translated by Deke Dusinberre, and published in 1992 by the University of Chicago Press, with a Foreword by Joseph Epstein, thE biography of CHAMFORT by CLAUDE ARNAUD was widely applauded, both in the USA and the UK. ISBN 0-226-02697-3. (The Epstein’s foreword was first published in the Special anniversary issue of The New Criterion, Vol 10, N°1).
*« This sweeping study explores the life and times of the self-invented and self-destroyed wit, philosopher, an playwright Chamfort (1740-1794), whose aphoristic style and enigmatic personality influenced, among others, Nietzsche and Camus ». Kirkus Review, 1.03. 1992. read this article…
*« Vivid and fascinating ». P.N.FURBANK, The New York Review of Books, 25.06.1992. read the article of R.N. Furbank, A double life, in THE New York review of books, vol. 39, n°12, june 25 1992 : www.nybooks.com.
*read another review about the english translaton of this biography, in the NYRB…
*« This book is more than a biography. It is an extensively researched intellectual history of that period in France which affected all the world – the last of the « Ancien Regime » and the French Revolution that followed ». R.M. SEATON, Alliance Time Herald, Manhattan Mercury…,17 and 18.07.1992.
*« (A) sound, thorough and well-researched biography (…) a lively and highly entertaining book ». Olivier BERNIER, The Wall Street Journal, 19.06.1992.
*« More so than many of the brillant men and women populating French intellectual life in the second half of the 18th century, Chamfort was in need of a modern biography that Mr. Arnaud, searchingly yet not inhumanly has given us ». Colin WALTERS, The Washington Times, 24.06.1992.
*«…Claude Arnaud has succeeded in writing an acid, sceptical biography. The enigma of this profound man has not been solved – it cannot be – but by means of contradictory little touches (which the english translation faithfully renders), it has been fully stated. With a remarkable economy of means, the thread of this rather absurd life has been inserted into a tissue – at least as absurd – of events, of reversals of opinion, of political backlashes, which Chamfort may have thought he could help to control but which were finally to much for him. Arnaud is an excellent observer of present-day Parisian society, an excellent reader of the French mémorialists and moralists, and he has put all his human and litterary experience into an acute and even cruel understanding of this incomplete, tormented, suicidal man of the world. With a skill that professional historians might well envy, he has evoked the terrifying strangeness of the revolutionary years in Paris». Marc FUMAROLI, The Times Literary Supplement, 12.06.1992.
*« I was so blank on Chamfort that I had read my way more than a hundred pages into this book before I could allay suspicion that there had been no such person and that Arnaud’s work was in fact a devilishly clever documentary novel. It seemed possible that Chamfort had been invented in order to bring into sharper relief the outlines of ‘real’ people like Mirabeau, Condorcet, the Rolands or even Robespierre. Chamfort seemed to correspond more to the shape of the space between famous people than to a personality in his own right », one can read in « Revolutionary Chic », WRITES Neal Ascherson’s IN THE LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS… »Claude Arnaud’s rapid, richly-detailed, gossiping and name-dropping biography turns out to be one of the most instructive of all histories about what revolution feels like and how its heat can suddenly and repeatedly transform personalities until they are unrecognisable. Those who retain consistency, even in the heart of the furnace, are often those who are already social chameleons and masters of the skills of multiple identity. Revolutionary chic began with Chamfort. » READ THE ENTIRE AESCHERSON’S recension in the London Review of Books (vol. 14, n° 21, 5 Nov 1992)…