European Comparative Literature as Humanism
2013, Franco, Bernard
In his article "European Comparative Literature as Humanism" Bernard Franco presents an epistemological reflection on comparative literature in the context of the evolution of the relationships between different forms of knowledge. Franco argues that in the late nineteenth century the notion of the "humanities" replaced that of the "human sciences," but that we have recently returned to a humanist concept of knowledge linked to ethics. Franco focuses on the origins of this critical reflection about the nature of knowledge and on the debate in the Romantic period between rational and non-rational forms of knowledge. The idéologues (Cabanis, Destutt de Tracy, Fauriel) and Dilthey, Goethe, and Humboldt were at the heart of this epistemological debate, a debate that in early modernity had already been related to the question of humanism in the dialog between Erasmus and Luther. In the mid-twentieth century Zweig and Thomas Mann looked to literature to seek a European spirit and to build a model of cosmopolitanism in which literature becomes a deeper source of knowledge. © Purdue University.
Ambivalences du classicisme : Mahomet, de Voltaire à Goethe
2006, Franco, Bernard
Since the end of the 18th century, the literary exchanges between French and German theatres are much more numerous. Lessing uses Diderots ideas in his Hamburgische Dramaturgie ; the work is translated into French in 1785. French culture has a deep influence on Schiller ; his work is very successful with the French stage. But the reaction against Kotzebues and Ifflands « historische und Familiengemälde » brings Goethe and Schiller towards classics, in order to promote ideal world and tragic fate. Schiller translates Racines Phèdre, Goethe Voltaires Mahomet. But the tiny alterations of his translation build a new interpretation of the hero and the story. The cynical and fanatic character becomes a dreamer and is a true prophet. He thus represents an image of the poet. And Goethe tries to create a new work from the « untranslatable » aspects of the drama.