Temporal and Eternal
Clio I, Notre Jeunesse
Автор(и) : Charles Péguy
Издател : Liberty Fund, Inc.
Място на издаване : Indianapolis, USA
ISBN : 978-0-86597-321-3
Брой страници : 165
Език : английски
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"Temporal and Eternal" is a profound and poetic assessment of the relationship between tradition and liberty, between politics and society, and between Christianity and the modern world. The Liberty Fund edition includes a new foreword by Pierre Manent, professor of political science at the Centre de Recherches Politiques Raymond Aron in Paris.
As the twenty-first century begins, the relationships this book explores are as relevant as they were in the last century, when French poet and essayist Charles Péguy addressed them in “Memories of Youth” and “Clio I”, the two essays in this volume. In these essays Péguy develops his theme of la mystique—that which a person or a nation is—and la politique—mere policy. According to Péguy, “Everything begins as a mystique and ends as a politique.” A nation, then, that loses its mystique—that is, those traditions and customs that predate politics—loses both its liberty and its self-respect and becomes prone to totalitarian terror, by the right or the left. Specifically, Péguy uses the Dreyfus Affair (1894) as an example of how ideology and “national interest”—again, from both the right and the left—can deform mystique into politique. The reader is transported into an imaginative engagement with the great issues of liberty that were at stake when a single individual—Dreyfus—was unjustly condemned by his state solely for the convenience of persons in power.
Péguy rightly discerned in the displacement of mystique by politique in European life “the coming of a demagogic domination disastrous for liberties.” Thus, observes Pierre Manent, “the most important event in Péguy’s life and for his work was also of capital importance, not only for the French of his generation but also for the Western world ever since.”
The brevity, beauty, and timeless relevance of Péguy’s prose make this volume attractive for historians, scholars, and laymen.