ERIC Number: ED340040
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
The French Academy: Arbitrator of Taste, Order, Genius--Immortality.
Buzash, Michael D.
The French Academy is the oldest of the scholarly societies of France. Its ideals and preferences of order, genius, and immortality have influenced the schools, conservatories, universities, and archives and the intellectual and artistic tastes of the time. Its foundation was laid by nine lettered, well-educated laymen and ecclesiastics around 1629. From the start the Academy placed top priority on composing a dictionary, the first edition of which appeared in 1694. In addition to literary tasks, the Academy was charged with the distribution of literary prizes. After having been suppressed, five academies were united under the name of the Institution of France in 1795. In 1803 Napoleon restructured this institution, which found its final form under Louis XVIII by royal ordinance in 1816. Members of the Academy select and elect new members. Speeches given by new Academicians must be written in perfect form, include a sincere expression of gratitude for the honor of acceptance into the Academy, and ardently bestow brilliance and accomplishment on the deceased predecessor. The "Larousse Encyclopedia" contains an interesting listing of candidates and explanations of the selection process. Among those not accepted into the ranks of the Academy are Moliere, Pascal, Descartes, Balzac, Michelet, and Flaubert. The Academy has preserved the purity of the French language, codified rules of usage, and has pondered the merits of human contributions and creativity. The Academy's projects have justified its being; the Academicians have immortalized the institution. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: France; French Academy (France); Literary Quality
Note: Paper presented at the Annual European Studies Conference (Omaha, NE, October 11-14, 1990).