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Journal Articles Studies in Walter Pater and in Aestheticism Year : 2022

Debating ‘l’esthéticisme’ and ‘l’esthétisme’ in Some French Periodicals


Starting with the two competing translations of aestheticism (esthétisme and estheticisme), this article is devoted to retracing the complex reception of the English term in various French journalistic writings between 1880 and 1900. I follow the semantic vicissitudes of the two terms and their cognates, ‘esthète’ and ‘esthétique’, as they circulated in public discourse through the press and magazines. In France, British aestheticism appears at first not to have been strictly differentiated from Pre-Raphaelitism, the latest developments of which were also percolating in the 1870s and 1880s in the sections of specific press and magazines. I pay less attention to the already well-documented reception of the British visual arts in France, including Pre- Raphaelitism, except where it intersects with the reception of literary works and provides a more nuanced view (or is used to justify a chosen label). Admittedly, my corpus of aestheticist poets and prose writers is restricted to already well- known (male) figures, itself the result of their early reception in Britain.


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hal-03873350 , version 1 (26-11-2022)




  • HAL Id : hal-03873350 , version 1


Bénédicte Coste. Debating ‘l’esthéticisme’ and ‘l’esthétisme’ in Some French Periodicals. Studies in Walter Pater and in Aestheticism, 2022, 7, pp.46-71. ⟨hal-03873350⟩


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