than a hundred years for "la bâtardise" and all its self-interest to become entrenched and to have heirs. There is in this bias against the new, developing economic order, which academics often wish to criticize because it does not seem to express their values, a singular lack of comprehension of the order in which we live and a revulsion which hampers understanding. One cannot evaluate something well when one attacks with a theoretical bias which is inappropriate to the order one wishes to analyze. It is certainly peculiar to reject the old order and the philosophical-theological reality that gave it its values, yet somehow try to retain an ethical system derived from that old order to criticize the new order, to laud the "chevalier" as an ideal while condemning the order and idea of aristos that gave him his symbolic value. Perhaps we need to observe the literature of the last two hundred years as a growing witness of a new order of reality that we are all still adjusting to. Perhaps we should sit before the evidence to see what it says rather than applying a model in advance and finding confirmation in the evidence. The modern
Nineteenth Century French Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: May 3, 2004
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