By Kathleen Kete
Examining the lives and works of 3 iconic personalities —Germaine de Staël, Stendhal, and Georges Cuvier—Kathleen Kete creates a groundbreaking cultural historical past of ambition in post-Revolutionary France. whereas within the outdated regime the traditionalist view of ambition prevailed—that is, ambition as morally unsuitable until subsumed right into a company whole—the new regime was once marked by means of a emerging tide of aggressive individualism. better possibilities for private development, despite the fact that, have been shadowed by way of lingering doubts in regards to the ethical worth of ambition.
Kete identifies 3 innovations used to beat the moral “burden” of ambition: romantic genius (Staël), secular vocation (Stendhal), and post-mythic future (Cuvier). In each one case, luck would appear to be pushed through forces open air one’s regulate. She concludes by means of interpreting the nonetheless correct (and nonetheless unresolved) conundrum of the connection of person wants to neighborhood wishes, which she identifies as a defining attribute of the trendy world.
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Extra info for Making Way for Genius: The Aspiring Self in France from the Old Regime to the New
Making Way for Genius: The Aspiring Self in France from the Old Regime to the New by Kathleen Kete