Bloy in 1887
|Born||11 July 1846|
|Died||3 November 1917|
Léon Bloy (1846–1917) was a French novelist, essayist, pamphleteer, and poet.
Bloy was born on 11 July 1846 in Notre-Dame-de-Sanilhac, in the arondissement of Périgueux, Dordogne. He was the second of six sons of the Voltairean freethinker and stern disciplinarian Jean-Baptiste Bloy and his wife Anne-Marie Carreau, pious Spanish-Catholic daughter of a Napoleonic soldier.After an agnostic and unhappy youth in which he cultivated an intense hatred for the Roman Catholic Church and its teaching, his father found him a job in Paris, where he went in 1864. In December 1868, he met the ageing Catholic author Barbey d'Aurevilly, who lived opposite him in rue Rousselet and who became his mentor. Shortly afterwards, he underwent a dramatic religious conversion.
Notre-Dame-de-Sanilhac is a former commune in the Dordogne department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. On 1 January 2017, it was merged into the new commune Sanilhac.
Périgueux is a commune in the Dordogne department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France.
Dordogne is a department in Southwestern France, with its prefecture in Périgueux. The department is located in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenees and is named after the river Dordogne that runs through it. It corresponds roughly with the ancient county of Périgord. It had a population of 416,909 in 2013.
Bloy was a friend of the author Joris-Karl Huysmans, the painter Georges Rouault, and the philosophers Jacques and Raïssa Maritainand was instrumental in reconciling these intellectuals with Roman Catholicism. However, he acquired a reputation for bigotry because of his frequent outbursts of temper. For example, in 1885, after the death of Victor Hugo, whom Bloy believed to be an atheist, Bloy decried Hugo's "senility", "avarice", and "hypocrisy". Bloy's first novel, Le Désespéré, a fierce attack on rationalism and those he believed to be in league with it, made him fall out with the literary community of his time and even many of his old friends. Soon, Bloy could count such prestigious authors as Émile Zola, Guy de Maupassant, Ernest Renan, Alphonse Daudet, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Paul Bourget, and Anatole France as his enemies.
Charles-Marie-Georges Huysmans was a French novelist and art critic who published his works as Joris-Karl Huysmans. He is most famous for the novel À rebours. He supported himself by a 30-year career in the French civil service.
Georges Henri Rouault was a French painter, draughtsman, and printer, whose work is often associated with Fauvism and Expressionism.
Jacques Maritain was a French Catholic philosopher. Raised Protestant, he was agnostic before converting to Catholicism in 1906. An author of more than 60 books, he helped to revive Thomas Aquinas for modern times, and was influential in the development and drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pope Paul VI presented his "Message to Men of Thought and of Science" at the close of Vatican II to Maritain, his long-time friend and mentor. The same pope had seriously considered making him a lay Cardinal, but Maritain rejected it. Maritain's interest and works spanned many aspects of philosophy, including aesthetics, political theory, philosophy of science, metaphysics, the nature of education, liturgy and ecclesiology.
In addition to his published works, he left a large body of correspondence with public and literary figures. He died on 3 November 1917 in Bourg-la-Reine.
Bourg-la-Reine is a commune in the southern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 9.1 km (5.7 mi) from the center of Paris. The inhabitants are called Réginaburgiens.
Bloy was noted for personal attacks, but he saw them as the mercy or indignation of God. According to Jacques Maritain, he used to say: "My anger is the effervescence of my pity."
Among the many targets of Bloy's attacks were people of business. In an essay in Pilgrim of the Absolute, he compared the businessmen of Chicago unfavourably to the cultured people of Paris:
Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450 (2017), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, and the fourth largest in North America and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area.
"In Paris you have the Saint Chapelle and the Louvre, true enough, but we in Chicago kill eighty thousand hogs a day!..." The man who says that is in truth a business man.
The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement. Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres. In 2018, the Louvre was the world's most visited art museum, receiving 10.2 million visitors.— Léon Bloy, "Les Affaires Sont Les Affaires" ("Business Is Business") in "The Wisdom of the Bourgeois", part of Pilgrim of the Absolute.
Inspired by both the millennialist visionary Eugène Vintrasand the reports of an apparition at La Salette—Our Lady of La Salette—Bloy was convinced that the Virgin's message was that if people did not reform, the end time was imminent. He was particularly critical of the attention paid to the shrine at Lourdes and resented the fact that it distracted people from what he saw as the less sentimental message of La Salette.
Bloy is quoted in the epigraph at the beginning of Graham Greene's novel The End of the Affair and in the essay "The Mirror of Enigmas" by the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, who acknowledged his debt to him by naming him in the foreword to his short story collection "Artifices" as one of seven authors who were in "the heterogeneous list of the writers I am continually re-reading". In his novel The Harp and the Shadow, Alejo Carpentier excoriates Bloy as a raving, Columbus-defending lunatic during Vatican deliberations over the explorer's canonization. Bloy is also quoted at the beginning of John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany , and there are several quotations from his Letters to my Fiancée in Charles Williams's anthology The New Christian Year. [ citation needed ] In Chile historian Jaime Eyzaguirre came to be influenced by Bloy's writings.Le Désespéré was republished in 2005 by Éditions Underbahn with a preface by Maurice G. Dantec.
According to the historian John Connelly, Bloy's Le Salut par les Juifs, with its apocalyptically radical interpretation of chapters 9 to 11 of Paul's Letter to the Romans, had a major influence on the Catholic theologians of the Second Vatican Council responsible for section 4 of the council's declaration Nostra aetate , the doctrinal basis for a revolutionary change in the Catholic Church's attitude to Judaism.
In 2013, Pope Francis surprised many by quoting Bloy during his first homily as pope.
Bloy and his effect on 21st-century French scholars make a significant appearance in Michel Houellebecq's 2015 novel Submission .
A study in English is Léon Bloy by Rayner Heppenstall (Cambridge: Bowes & Bowes, 1953).
François-René, vicomte de Chateaubriand, was a French writer, politician, diplomat and historian who founded Romanticism in French literature. Descended from an old aristocratic family from Brittany, Chateaubriand was a royalist by political disposition. In an age when a number of intellectuals turned against the Church, he authored the Génie du christianisme in defense of the Catholic faith. His works include the autobiography Mémoires d'Outre-Tombe, published posthumously in 1849–1850.
Our Lady of La Salette is a Marian apparition reported by two children, Maximin Giraud and Mélanie Calvat to have occurred at La Salette-Fallavaux, France, in 1846.
À rebours (1884) is a novel by the French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans. Its narrative concentrates almost entirely on its principal character and is mostly a catalogue of the tastes and inner life of Jean des Esseintes, an eccentric, reclusive aesthete and antihero who loathes 19th-century bourgeois society and tries to retreat into an ideal artistic world of his own creation. À rebours contains many themes that became associated with the Symbolist aesthetic. In doing so, it broke from Naturalism and became the ultimate example of "decadent" literature.
Henry de Groux was a Belgian Symbolist painter, sculptor and lithographer. His 1889 painting Christ attacked by a mob made when he was only 22 years old established his reputation as an innovative Symbolist painter and ensured his admission to the progressive artistic circles in Brussels. He spent most of his active career in Paris. He produced many works depicting the horrors of the First World War in the latter part of his career.
Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, in full Église Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, is a Melkite Greek Catholic parish church in Paris, France, and one of the city's oldest religious buildings. Built in Romanesque style during the 13th century, it is situated in the 5th arrondissement, on the Left Bank of the Seine River, about 500 meters away from the Musée de Cluny and in the proximity of the Maubert-Mutualité Paris Métro station. It shares a city block with the Square René Viviani.
Françoise Mélanie Calvat, called Mathieu, was a French Roman Catholic nun and Marian visionary. As a religious, she was called Sister Mary of the Cross. Together with Maximin Giraud, she was one of the two Marian visionaries of Our Lady of La Salette.
Pierre Maximin Giraud, known as Maximin Giraud, was a French member of the Corps of Papal Zouaves and a Marian visionary of Our Lady of La Salette.
Judith Cabaud is an American-born French writer and musicologist. She was born into a Jewish family of Polish and Russian heritage.
François Angelier is a French journalist, presenter, essayist, biographer and author of fantasy novels.
Gustave Thibon was a French philosopher. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times.
Jean de Menasce (1902–1973) was a French Catholic priest, of the Dominican Order, as well as an author and academic. He came from Jewish Egyptian and French parentage. Over his lifetime he mastered fifteen languages, including Hebrew, Syriac, and Pahlavi. He was in the Catholic contingent among Jewish and Protestant leaders at an important post-war interfaith conference. Menasce wrote as a theologian, and as a scholar of Middle Eastern studies, especially regarding Judaism, and the Zoroastrian religion.
Jaime Eyzaguirre was a Chilean lawyer, essayist and historian. He is variously recognized as a writer of traditionalist or conservative historiography in his country.
The Woman Who Was Poor is an 1897 novel by the French writer Léon Bloy. It follows a woman, Clotilde, who becomes involved with the Paris art and literary scene in the 1880s. It was Bloy's second novel. An English translation by I. J. Collins was published in 1939.
Paul-Napoléon Roinard was a French anarchist poet.
Adolphe van Bever was a 19th–20th-century French bibliographer and erudite.
Pierre Birnbaum is a French historian and sociologist.
The Catholic literary revival is a term that has been applied to a movement towards explicitly Catholic allegiance and themes among leading literary figures in France and England, roughly in the century from 1860 to 1960. This often involved conversion to Catholicism or a conversion-like return to the Catholic Church. Due to the influence of Catholic literature from England in the United States, the concept of "Catholic revival" is sometimes extended to include American authors such as Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Walker Percy, J. F. Powers and Flannery O'Connor.
Jean d'Azémar de Fabrègues was a French Catholic intellectual and journalist. He was a "traditional" Catholic, rejecting the materialism of both liberal democracy and the totalitarian regimes of the right and the left.