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By David Fisher

This highbrow portrait of Romain Rolland (1866-1944)--French novelist, musicologist, dramatist, and Nobel prizewinner in 1915--focuses on his experiments with political dedication opposed to the backdrop of ecu historical past among the 2 international wars. most sensible referred to as a biographer of Beethoven and for his novel, Jean-Christophe, Rolland used to be a kind of nonconforming writers who perceived a predicament of bourgeois society in Europe earlier than the nice battle, and who consciously labored to discredit and reshape that society within the interwar interval. examining Rolland's itinerary of engaged stands, David James Fisher clarifies elements of eu cultural historical past and is helping decipher the ambiguities on the center of all varieties of highbrow engagement.Moving from textual content to context, Fisher organizes the publication round a sequence of debates--Rolland's private and non-private collisions over particular dedicated stands--introducing the reader to the polemical sort of French highbrow discourse and delivering perception into what it capacity to be a dependable highbrow. Fisher offers Rolland's deepest ruminations, broad examine, and reexamination of the functionality and elegance of the French guy of letters. He observes that Rolland experimented with 5 forms of dedication: oceanic mysticism associated with revolutionary, democratic politics; unfastened considering associated with antiwar dissent; pacifism and, finally, Gandhism; antifacism associated with anti-imperialism, antiracism, and all-out political resistance to fascism; and, so much controversially, fellow touring as a kind of socialist humanism and the confident facet of antifascism. Fisher perspectives Rolland's engagement traditionally and seriously, exhibiting that engaged intellectuals of that point have been neither naive propagandists nor dupes of political parties.David James Fisher makes a case for the devoted author and hopes to re-light the controversy approximately dedication. For him, Romain Rolland sums up engagement in a notable, dialectical formula:

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