Jacques Barzun

Jacques Barzun

Jacques Barzun (1907- ) is a leading scholar on American culture. He was born in France but moved to America when he was a teenager. He attended Columbia University, where he later became a full professor. He retired from administrative duties at the university in 1967 to focus on teaching and writing; he retired fully in 1975. Barzun had three children with his late wife, Mariana Lowell, whom he married in 1936.

An Essay On French Verse

Literature by Jacques Barzun

In An Essay on French Verse–For Readers of English Poetry, Jacques Barzun addresses the baffling English prejudice against French poetry. Barzun’s many-faceted and entertaining study muses on six hundred years of French verse, its rules and forms and how they evolved. It also has significant sections on the French language itself, its sounds and difficulties; on verse music in language generally; on the character and achievements of the greatest French poets; and finally, on the social and political conditions that encouraged successive innovations, including the prevailing wordwide practice of free verse.…
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Dictionary Of Accepted Ideas

by Gustave Flaubert

Translated from the French by Jacques Barzun

With a contribution by Gustave Flaubert

Throughout his life Flaubert made it a game to eavesdrop for the cliché, the platitude, the borrowed and unquestioned idea with which the “right thinking” swaddle their minds. After his death his little treasury of absurdities, of half-truths and social lies, was published as a Dictionnaire des idées reçues. Because its devastating humor and irony are often dependent on the phrasing in vernacular French, the Dictionnaire was long considered untranslatable. This notion was taken as a challenge by Jacques Barzun.…
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Barzun writes with unfailing, stylish lucidity.
The New Yorker
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