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Posts Tagged ‘L’Institut de France

After only 145 years: overnight success!…

In the “Emerging Authors” section at Target: Anna Karenina, by that young upstart, Leo Tolstoy.  (Readers will note, as well, the inclusion of Julian Barnes and Diane Ackerman…  as for the Jane Austen Marriage Manual, it is presumably by an actual emerging author…)

[TotH to The Consumerist, from whence, the photo]

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As we fulminate on the fragility of fame, we might note that it was on this date in 1635 that Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII, established L’Académie Française, the oldest of the five académies of L’Institut de France.   Its forty members– almost exclusively writers who are known, after election, as immortels– are the highest authority on all matters pertaining to the French language… a group to whom Tolstoy might well have been admitted had he not suffered the ignominy of being born elsewhere and writing in a different language; individuals who are not citizens can be admitted, but rarely are.  (The Divine Jane would likely not have fared well even had she been born in France:  the first woman member, Marguerite Yourcenar, wasn’t elected until 1980.)

L’Institut de France building

 source

Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 2, 2013 at 1:01 am

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