Pierre Bertaux  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Pierre Bertaux' (born 8 October 1907 in Lyon; died 14 August 1986 in Saint-Cloud, Hauts-de-Seine) was a noted French Germanist. While holding administrative positions, he also wrote on Friedrich Hölderlin.

In 1968 he founded an Institute for Germanistics at the New Sorbonne in Asnières. In 1970 he received the Goethe-Medaille, and in 1975 the Heinrich-Heine-Preis of the city of Düsseldorf.

Since structuralism in literary studies is largely of French origin, this attempt to ruin its reputation takes as its motto the words of a Frenchman, Pierre Bertaux: "At one time it was hoped that the beginnings of a formalization of the humanities analogous [to that of the sciences] could be expected from structuralism. Unfortunately, it appears today that precisely the loudest advocates of structuralism have let it degenerate into a mythology—and not even a useful one." I fully agree with this verdict. --Stanislaw Lem via http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/4/lem4art.htm [Jan 2007]




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