Charles Du Bos  

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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli

Charles Du Bos (or Charles du Bos) was a French critic who was born 27 October 1882, Paris, France and who died 5 August 1939, La Celle-Saint-Cloud. He was a "French critic of French and English literature whose writings on William Shakespeare, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron helped turn French attention toward English literature". He was considered a notable essayist.

Career

Du Bos was exposed to English literature at an early age, since his mother was English. "He studied at the University of Oxford for a year (1900–01) and also in Germany. Among his works are studies of J.W. von Goethe and of the French authors Gustave Flaubert, Prosper Mérimée, and François Mauriac and correspondence with his friend André Gide. The correspondence was published as Le Dialogue avec André Gide (1929; 2nd ed., Lettres de Charles Du Bos et réponses d’André Gide, 1950). He was a biographical and moral critic with clearly defined standards of judgment. His chief interest was in what he called the “soul” of a work and its effects in the “soul” of a reader. As he became older, this concern became increasingly religious, and his Journal intime, 6 vol. (1946–55), written partly in English, is an account of the spiritual evolution that brought him into the Roman Catholic Church in 1927."




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