René Étiemble  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

René Ernest Joseph Eugène Étiemble (26 January 1909 in Mayenne, Mayenne – 7 January 2002 in Vigny) was an essayist, scholar, novelist, and promoter of Middle Eastern and Asian cultures. Known commonly by his family name alone, Etiemble held the coveted Chair of Comparative Literature, in 1955, at the Institute of General and Comparative Literature in the pre-1968 Sorbonne University and continued in his post as a tenured Professor (and after retirement in September 1978 as an Honorary Professor) at the Sorbonne-Nouvelle University from 1956 to 1978. His doctoral dissertation on the Myth of Rimbaud and his influences world-wide won him fame in 1952. However, Étiemble's derisive tone and some ill-founded conjectures about Rimbaud's later life undermine the book's credibility today.

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