Paris: Libraires du Palais-Royal, 1860.
Duodecimo, uncut; original blue paper wrappers, manuscript inscription on front cover.
First edition: a proposal for a 'new utopia' founded on pacifist principles.
First edition: a proposal for a 'new utopia' founded on pacifist principles.In 1859, a Franco-Italian alliance had sought to repel Austrian aggression in northern Italy, but the French people had been sickened by the losses, and Napoleon III had hastily signed an armistice. It is in this moment of anti-war sentiment that Paris Moderne is situated. Whilst the author proudly claims to have served forty years in the army, this is an essentially pacifist plea in which both the political goals and the heavy loss of life are brought into question in a movement which anticipates the role of war in a mechanized society. That is, battles are reduced to the tragic mathematics of attrition so familiar from later conflicts: in the case of the battle of Eylau, four thousand French in return for six to eight thousand Austrian.His fear is that this culture of war has become so engrained in the public that whole generations exist who regard war as normal, and for whom literature has become nothing more than the bulletins of armies.Although he dreams of a new utopia not brought up 'au bruit du tambour,' he poignantly quotes Cobden: 'La guerre viendra, hélas! toujours trop tôt…'
Price (AUD): $1,250.00 other currencies Ref: #3005388