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This review is taken from PN Review 42, Volume 11 Number 4, March - April 1985.

IN DREAMS BEGIN RESPONSIBILITIES Pierre Boutang, Maurras, la destinée et l'œuvre (Pion) 120F

The name of Charles Maurras has been so much hated by so many of those to whom it means anything at all that it is almost an embarrassment to be asked to write about him again. But after all he is so far in the past - his dates are 1868-1952 - that it ought to be possible to speak of him without resuscitating the quarrels surrounding him. The Centre Maurras, with its series of conferences and the studies which emerge from them, has been attempting to do this since 1968, though for the general reader these studies are not free from the boredom which in time gathers around all such persistent concentration on a single author. The best entrée into the work of Maurras, as of any other writer, is to read one or two of his most characteristic books. But which? L'avenir de l'intelligence, perhaps, or Au signe de Flore, but anyone who feels the need of some more general introduction to enable him to take his bearings might do worse than grapple with the 700 pages of Pierre Boutang's Maurras, la destinée et l'œuvre.

The life of Maurras, after the first days in Provence, is implicated with the series of political - and, it must be said, military - crises which make up so much of the history of France in the late nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries. There is no discussing him without the history, which is still the ...

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