François-René de Chateaubriand: The Apostle Of Romanticism

The nineteenth century literary, artistic, and intellectual movement we today call “romanticism” is not easily defined, but is generally acknowledged to embrace the following sentiments:  an idealized view of the past, the emphasis of feeling and sentiment over rationality, a preference for exotic locales and peoples, and the primacy of emotion.  One of the founders—perhaps the founder—of romanticism in French literature was François-René de Chateaubriand, whose memoirs I have just finished.  He titled his book Memories From Beyond The Tomb, since they were specifically intended to be published after his death.

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