Chapter

Nicola Chiaromonte: The Ethics of Politics

Joseph Frank

in Responses to Modernity

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780823239252
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823239290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823239252.003.0008
Nicola Chiaromonte: The Ethics of Politics

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André Malraux immortalized the essence of Nicola Chiaromonte in the character of Scali in L'Espoir (Man's Hope). A refugee from fascist Italy, living in Paris in the 1930s, Chiaromonte was a member of Malraux's squadron in the Spanish Loyalist Air Force, and it is in the pages of Malraux's great novel that he will always remain a living presence. In the early 1950s, Chiaromonte stood out among the clever, febrile French intellectuals and was very much a part of the French scene in those days, the days when French Existentialism was still trying to work out the foundations for a new philosophy of libertarian, democratic socialism. All of his writings are fundamentally concerned with politics. Just a year or two before he died, Chiaromonte collected a number of essays and wove them together into a book called The Paradox of History. The subject of this work—which contains chapters on Stendhal, Leo Tolstoy, Roger Martin du Gard, Malraux, and Boris Pasternak—is his perennial theme: The relation of politics and ethics.

Keywords: André Malraux; Nicola Chiaromonte; politics; ethics; Paradox of History; Stendhal; Leo Tolstoy; French Existentialism; Boris Pasternak

Chapter.  4690 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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