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Charles Maurras’s Classicising Aesthetics

An Aestheticization of Politics

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Gaetano DeLeonibus

Charles Maurras, founder of the Action Française, was a highly influential thinker in fin-de-siècle literary and political scenes, but has fallen out of favor among current academics due to his radical right-wing ideology. This study seeks to understand that ideology in terms of his aestheticization of politics, a driving principle behind Maurras, the person, the critic, and the storyteller. Originally formulated in the early 1890s, Maurras’s classicising aesthetics aims to reintegrate the ethical and the political back into an organic whole, as represented by the classical and neo-classical traditions, and informs both his racist and nationalist discourses.