François-René, Vicomte de Chateaubriand: René (2286 words)


Few readers today wade through Chateaubriand’s five-volume religious apology Le Génie du christianisme (1802) in its entirety. However, René, a slim novella originally published as part of the Génie, is still among the most-read texts of French romanticism. It is a self-contained story with a gripping plot, and defines the features of a new German- and English-inspired romantic current in French literary writing. Indeed, René has been identified as the text that created and popularised the superior but melancholic romantic hero suffering from profound disillusionment. Chateaubriand’s Preface to the 1805 edition of Atala-René is credited with …

Citation: Gerwin, Elisabeth. "René". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 February 2018 [, accessed 23 June 2021.]

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