Maurice Barrès  

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"The Dada mock trial of Maurice Barrès took place on 13 May 1921. It was a mock prosecution in which right-wing author Maurice Barrès, represented by a dummy, was accused of “crimes against the security of the mind”. This event marked the implosion of Dada and a split in the movement, people like André Breton who took it deadly seriously and people like Francis Picabia and Tristan Tzara who treated it with scorn."--Sholem Stein


"Que me parlez-vous de justice, d’humanité ! Qu’est-ce j’aime, moi ? quelques tableaux en Europe et quelques cimetières." --cited in Benda's The Betrayal of the Intellectuals (1927)


"What would Maurice Barres and his "culte du Moi" have been without Stendhal — who employed before him the famous phrase " deracination " ? Amiel, sick-willed thinker, did not alone invent: "A landscape is a state of soul"; Stendhal had spoken of a landscape not alone sufficing; it needs a moral or historic interest."--Egoists: A Book of Supermen (1909) by James Huneker

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Auguste-Maurice Barrès (19 August 1862 – 4 December 1923) was a French novelist, journalist and politician. Spending some time in Italy, he became a figure in French literature with the release of his work The Cult of the Self in 1888. In politics, he was first elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1889 as a Boulangist and would play a prominent political role for the rest of his life.

Barrès was associated in his literary works with Symbolism, a movement which had equivalence with British Aestheticism and Italian Decadentism; indeed he was a close associate of Gabriele d'Annunzio representing the latter. As the name of his trilogy suggests, his works glorified a humanistic love of the self and he also flirted with occult mysticisms in his youth. The Dreyfus affair saw an ideological shift from a liberal individualism rooted in the French Revolution to a more collectivist and organic concept of the nation, advocating for corporatism and an organic society, he also became a leading anti-Dreyfusard popularising the term nationalisme to describe his views. He stood on a platform of "Nationalism and Protectionism.".

Politically, he became involved with various groups such as the Ligue des Patriotes of Paul Déroulède, which he became the leader of in 1914. Barrès was close to Charles Maurras, the founder of Action Française, a monarchist party. Despite the fact that he remained a republican, Barrès would have a strong influence on various following French monarchists, as well as various other figures. During the First World War, he was a strong supporter of the Union Sacrée political truce. In later life, Barrès returned to the Catholic faith and was involved in a campaign to restore French church buildings and helped establish 24 June as a national day of remembrance for St. Joan of Arc.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Maurice Barrès" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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