Living Well with Pessimism in Nineteenth-Century France (Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture) (Hardcover)

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Description


This book traces the emergence of modern pessimism in nineteenth-century France and examines its aesthetic, epistemological, ethical, and political implications. It explores how, since pessimism as a worldview is not empirically verifiable, writers on pessimism shift the discussion to verisimilitude, opening up rich territory for cross-fertilization between philosophy and literature. The book traces debates on pessimism in the nineteenth century among French nonfiction writers who either lauded its promotion of compassion or condemned it for being a sick and unliveable attempt at renunciation. It then examines the way novelists and poets take up and transform these questions by portraying characters in lived situations that serve as testing grounds for the merits or limitations of pessimism. The debate on pessimism that emerged in the nineteenth century is still very much with us, and this book offers an interhistorical argument for embracing pessimism as a way of living well in the world, aesthetically, ethically, and politically.

About the Author


Joseph Acquisto is a Professor of French at the University of Vermont, USA. His books include Poetry's Knowing Ignorance (2020), Proust, Music, and Meaning (2017), The Fall Out of Redemption: Writing and Thinking Beyond Salvation in Baudelaire, Cioran, Fondane, Agamben, and Nancy (2015), and French Symbolist Poetry and the Idea of Music (2006).


Product Details
ISBN: 9783030610135
ISBN-10: 3030610136
Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
Publication Date: April 3rd, 2021
Pages: 304
Language: English
Series: Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture