HE news of the death of Anatole France has brought to many As a master we respected and admired him, and we loved him as well, for his readers were granted graciously the privilege of intimate intellectual companionship with him. Many facts must be gathered before an adequate biography of the man can be written, and for the moment we must content ourselves with attempting to sketch his spiritual development which is so faithfully reflected in his novels and literary criticisms. Yet even here we are baffled, for a t various times he reveals himself as a poet who worshipped perfection of form; a dilettante with ardent love for the literature of the past; an indulgent sceptic who looked upon human frailty with Olympian indifference; a mystic who naâively evoked the poetry of primitive religions; a sentimental rationalist who sapped the foundations of belief with a devout smile; a keen critic of theological dogma; a bitter anticlerical and zealous supporter of the separation of Church and State; a socialist and eloquent champion of the rights of the people; a Rabelaisian short-story writer; and a scoffer who laughed with Mephistophelian mockery a t all things human and divine: these
Modern Language Journal – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 1924
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