Jean Schlumberger Éveils : a historical autobiography

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joyce Shortall-Stevenson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site:
Lewis Walker

Abstract: Jean Schlumberger (1877-1968), a French writer, journalist and co-founder of the Nouvelle Revue Française, a French literary journal, is best known as a writer of novels, plays and books of poetry. His non-fiction, especially his autobiography, Éveils, has been virtually neglected by critics and literary historians. This thesis examines Schlumberger’s autobiography in the light of changing attitudes of historians to autobiography, with particular reference to the French Annales School and autobiographies written by historians such as those of Pierre Nora’s Ego-Historiens. Schlumberger believed that memoirs and correspondences are often more enlightening than historical documents. His autobiography and historical articles reveal distinct similarities to the contemporary autobiographical approaches to history of Nora and his colleagues. Schlumberger, who saw his work and his writings as being the most important aspects of his life, chose to dedicate a large portion of his autobiography to what he believed to be a reflection of himself. He recognized the importance of his literary friendships and wished to capture their history before it was lost or erased forever. He believed that the bourgeoisie was best situated for interpreting history and that it was its duty to do so. He demonstrates the interconnections between his own micro-historical experiences and other themes that have a broader significance such as the First World War. Autobiography’s greatest contribution to the historical world is that it provides its readers with an understanding of what it means to be living in history. Schlumberger, as a writer of fiction and a historian, possessed the talents necessary for conveying how the world looked from many different perspectives.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
Authors French--19th century, Historians French, Schlumberger Jean 1877-1968 Éveils--Criticism and interpretation
Schlumberger, Jean, 1877-1968. Éveils -- Criticism and interpretation
Historians, French
Authors, French -- 19th century

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