Les caractères de la bruyère pdf help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. This article relies largely or entirely on a single source.
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La Bruyère could trace his family back on his father’s side at least as far as his great-grandfather, who along with his grandfather had been dedicated members of the Catholic League. La Bruyère’s father also had been active in the league under the Duke of Guise in 1584. His father was controller general of finance to the Hôtel de Ville, and despite the turmoil in the country, was able to pay for La Bruyère’s education and to leave him a considerable sum as an inheritance. He was educated by the Oratorians and at the University of Orléans.
He was called to the bar, and in 1673 bought a post in the revenue department at Caen, which gave him status and an income. La Bruyère became tutor to the prince’s grandson, Louis, as well as to the prince’s child-bride, Mlle de Nantes, a natural child of Louis XIV. Very little is known of the events of this part—or, indeed, of any part—of his life. The impression derived from the few notices of him is of a silent, observant, but somewhat awkward man, resembling in manners Joseph Addison, whose master in literature La Bruyère undoubtedly was. His critical book, Caractères appeared in 1688. It garnered numerous enemies, but despite that, most notations about him are favourable—notably that of Saint-Simon, an acute judge and one bitterly prejudiced against commoners generally. Foremost among the critics were Thomas Corneille, Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle and Isaac de Benserade, who were clearly critical of the book.
He was defeated thrice in 1691, and on one memorable occasion, he had but seven votes, five of which were those of Bossuet, Boileau, Racine, Paul Pellisson, and Bussy-Rabutin. Quand La Bruyère se présente Pourquoi faut il crier haro? Pour faire un nombre de quarante Ne falloit il pas un zéro? His unpopularity was, however, chiefly confined to the subjects of his sarcastic portraiture and to the hack writers of the time, of whom he was wont to speak with a disdain only surpassed by that of Alexander Pope. La Bruyère’s discourse of admission at the academy, one of the best of its kind, was, like his admission itself, severely criticized, especially by the partisans of the “Moderns” in the “Ancient and Modern” quarrel. La Bruyère died very suddenly, and not long after his admission to the academy. He is said to have been struck dumb in a gathering of his friends, and, being carried home to the Hôtel de Condé, to have expired of apoplexy a day or two afterward.
The Caractères, a translation of Theophrastus, and a few letters mostly addressed to the prince de Condé, complete the list of his literary work, with the addition of one curious, and much-disputed, posthumous treatise. Two years after his death, a certain Dialogues sur le Quiétisme appeared, alleged to have been found among his papers, incomplete, and to have been completed by its editor. As these dialogues are far inferior in literary merit to La Bruyère’s other works, their genuineness has been denied. A straightforward and circumstantial account of their appearance was given by the editor, the Abbé du Pin, however. Although it is permissible to doubt whether the value of the Caractères has not been somewhat exaggerated by traditional French criticism, they deserve beyond all question, a high place. The plan of the book is thoroughly original, if that term may be accorded to a novel, and skillful combination of elements exists in it. The treatise of Theophrastus may have furnished the concept, but it gave little more.
La Bruyère’s privileged position at Chantilly provided him with a unique vantage point from which he could witness the hypocrisy and corruption of the court of Louis XIV. As a Christian moralist, he aimed at reforming people’s manners and ways by publishing records of his observations of aristocratic foibles and follies, which earned him many enemies at the court. In the titles of his work, and in its extreme desultoriness, La Bruyère reminds the reader of Montaigne, but he aimed too much at sententiousness to attempt even the apparent continuity of the great essayist. These last are the greatest feature of the work, and that which gave it its immediate, if not its enduring, popularity. The “Characters” of Jean de La Bruyère. Bruyere: The characters, or Manners of the age.
Chez Étienne Michallet, il est courant d’utiliser la locution le général pour parler du général de Gaulle. Dossier Simone de Beauvoir, et d’y obtenir une avantageuse protection. Dans Les Caractères, elle a plus de poids. Docteur en Sorbonne, quand La Bruyère se présente Pourquoi faut il crier haro?