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Prevost Antoine Francois

( French writer)

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Biography Prevost Antoine Francois
The French writer Antoine Prevost lived a life very similar to those adventure novels, which in his time engrossed in the whole of Europe. Not all the circumstances of his life are known, as many documents and letters for various reasons, were killed. But the fact that reliably established, could be the basis for a thrilling adventure story in the spirit of the Provost: after all, his works are full of extraordinary adventures and amazing coincidences. Prevost moved into novels, many facts of his stormy youth, and the heroes of his own nature has given properties: susceptibility of doubt, the thirst to try their luck, a willingness to dangerous adventures.

Antoine Francois Prevost was born in northern France, in Picardy, the son of a notary. Like Voltaire, . whose biography in general largely coincides with the biography Prevost, . studied at the Jesuit college in his native town of Eden and, . apparently, . initially intended to follow the advice of his father and devote himself to ecclesiastical career, . Why at the end of college in 1713 went to Paris to improve the knowledge of Latin and philosophy,

But spending there a few months, a 16-year-old Prevost suddenly written in the army simple volunteer soldiers. The young man is fascinated by the romance can quickly move to the heroic endeavors, participating in the final campaigns of the war of Spanish Succession. However, the war is over very soon, no promotions soldiers Prevost has not received and returned to the Jesuits. From 1715 to 1718 Prevost - a novice in various Jesuit monastery, but the probation he was repeatedly interrupted as travel attracted troubled seminarian much stronger than philosophical Studies. He again try his luck in the military - this time with greater success than ever.

In that Prevost did not take a brilliant opportunity to make a career Jesuit priest, many biographers (and he himself later) blamed innate impulsiveness and roughness of his nature. But, obviously, it's not just in the temperament and disposition, character. In the era of the Regency and the reign of Louis XV once trustworthiness of the Order of Jesus was shaken by violent internal church strife. In the eyes of the best society of France the first decades of the XVIII century the Jesuits had damaged himself by alliance with the ecclesiastical and political reaction, especially when joined to the Pope began in 1713 persecution of supporters of Jansenism. They are influential in France and Holland during the inside Catholicism condemned, like Protestantism, the official church - and especially the Jesuits - for their support of absolute monarchy.

. Protestant and yansenistskie position, in turn, strengthened in the context of the hopeless crisis, which entered the French monarchy at the Regent Philippe d'Orleans
. Louis XV compounded the crisis, discredited his power flourishing corruption and the famous dictum 'After me the deluge'. The spiritual atmosphere of those years has favored moral skepticism, the cult of pleasure, the pursuit of fortune. But it flared star of the satirical and philosophical genius of Voltaire, came the consciousness of eradicating this era. To find new spiritual orientation, which would match the pursuit of happiness and the dictates of reason relaxed.

Returning to France in 1719, Prevot tried again to become a novice of the Jesuits, but, being refused, forever and without regret, broke with the medal. However, the spiritual arena, he left not right. In 1721 Prevost several years he preached in various Benedictine abbey in Normandy, then in Paris. Living in the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres, has a very strict statute, Prevost involved in drafting the multi-volume 'History of Christianity in Gaul', on which more than one decade of work of the members of the Order.

. Here Prevost began his first novel, 'Notes and adventures of a noble man, retired from the world'
. The first two volumes were published anonymously in 1728. Prevost immediately comes to literary success. The story of untold hardships and adventures of the characters quite satisfied the tastes of the French readers of the time, brought up on the adventure novels of Lesage. However, the hero of the Provost is not just demonstrated in the troubles and trials of strength and spirit of common sense, but also actively advocated and perfected his own philosophy of life. The chain of unexpected blows of fate turns to him in the path to spiritual harmony and strengthen the moral dignity. This, in fact, was already the hero of the new educational type, closer to the characters Defoe than Lesage.

The first literary success came with the new period Prevost review attitudes and dissatisfaction with the chosen spiritual path. In turn, the order also was not disposed to a fellow who was so little fascinated pious intentions in writing the novel. Prevost secretly went to Geneva and it alter religion - he is a Protestant. In 1728, such a move could easily lead to prison: the persecution of Protestants in France were in full swing. Back in Paris, Prevost made no secret reluctance to return to the monastery, on the grounds that it was his father forced him to become a priest, and then sends a petition to Rome the pope to transfer to another congregation of the Order of the Benedictines with a less severe charter. Solutions does not receive, and the conflict with church authorities compounded so that Prevost ran from the monastery and the road sends an indignant letter to the rector of the threat to appear in print with scandalous revelations order reigning in the Order. Pastor calls on the authorities to arrest the fugitive bold, but too late - disguised in secular dress, ab-bat renegade secretly sailed to England.

In the first half of XVIII century, this country - the center of advanced European philosophical, scientific and political thought, the center of religious tolerance, where they find shelter from the continent, driven by the Protestant and Jansenist. This is the cradle of European literature of the Enlightenment with its apology for the sensitivity and exciting Robinsonade, . which advocated natural rights and feelings of man and triumphs utopian faith in the limitless possibilities of nature, . unconstrained ugly social establishments,
. They bloom raising satire and sentimental poetry, the writings of Defoe emerging genre of the psychological novel-biography. In England, completed the formation of Voltaire as a philosopher and educator: expelled from France in 1730-ies, . he is in his 'Philosophical Letters' said European reader of the scientific discoveries of Newton, . of sensationalist Locke, . ethics and aesthetics of Shaftesbury, . Shakespeare masterpieces,

Emigration Prevost acquainted with the poet-philosopher, A. Pop, reading novels, Defoe. Together with his pupil - the son of English nobleman and politician Sir Dzh.Eylya Prevost travels around the country. In the letters of the time he admires the nature of 'happy island', the strength of freedoms and rights, which the British were able to defend against 'encroachment of tyranny', freedom of religious belief, etc..

In England wakes journalistic talent Prevost. In 1733 he began to publish in French languages-ke literary magazine 'Pros and Cons' (the title was printed in 1722 a philosophical poem by Voltaire), focused on the broadest European reader. Provost here places the reviews of the latest British and the French new books, essays on morals, on the various events in the life of the British, travel stories, translations of excerpts from poems, plays, historical works. The journal Prevost find a place reviews on the 'Philosophical letters' Voltaire, the staging of the great tragedies of educator, as well as the autobiographical notes of the Provost, annotations in his novels. Magazine 'Pros and Cons', published in Paris, carried out its educational mission of the Culture in France until 1740.

In England Prevost finishes the last two volumes of 'Memoirs of a noble man', and publishes them in 1729 are no longer anonymous, but under the pseudonym Marc Antoine Prevost d'Ekzil. Release of the first part of the new novel 'History of Cleveland, natural son of Cromwell, or the English philosopher' (they are published intermittently since 1731). The six years spent outside France, Prevost works hard for the magazine, writes, and the rights of Roma, translated into French from the Latin 'History', written by witnessing the religious wars of the XVI century J. O. De Tu

. In Holland, . where he comes from London, . are fastened his friendships with famous publishers, . that, . however, . compounded by the fact, . that in the pursuit of money often takes Prevost advances for work not yet made, . then long delays their implementation,

. Personal life of expatriate writers are much too scandalous: Hobbies certain Lenka Eckhardt, . lady more than dubious reputation, . he had met in Amsterdam, . Prevost follows her in Holland, . then Switzerland, . then in London (and possibly, . even in Russia) and everywhere makes huge debts, . quickly enter into contracts for literary works, . which still remain on the stage designs,
. Prevost repeatedly forced to flee from his creditors and from disgruntled publishers, argue with friends, they sometimes leave their property in payment of debts. Communication with the extravagant courtesan, . lasted for several years, . nearly led to the gallows Prevost: In October 1733 he appeared in a London jail, . caught in the drafting of a forged letter on behalf of his child to his father, Sir Eylyu to issue a large amount of money,
. Incensed, the young man went to court, but an aristocratic family chose to hush up the scandal, and Prevost was released from custody.

After this, the writer had to leave England. But love for Lenk, so make life difficult for Pre-played a crucial role in his creative destiny. She gave him an invaluable personal experience, . which, . apparently, . and helped the writer find the above are not the familiar French literature winningly sincere note, . with which he spoke about the paradoxes of the passion in the immortal novel 'The history of the Chevalier des Grieux and Manon Lescaut',
. The novel was published in Holland in 1731 or 1733 in an annex to the 'Notes of a noble man' and immediately became famous in France. But the first French edition of the novel suffered the same fate as 'philosophical letters' of Voltaire: in 1734, both of these works were brought to public burning as detrimental to public morals. The sentence, however, has only deepened the interest in the new novel by Prevost, who now began to call none other than the 'gentle and passionate author of' Manon Lescaut '. Every year there are a few of his publications, which are sold in secret.

After the scandal with a letter seeking the location Prevost Cardinal Bissio to enlist his support to the Pope, which the Pre-sent in a petition for pardon and permission to return to the Benedictines of Saint-Germain-des-Pres. Pope Clement XII agreed to pardon a fugitive abbot and transfer it to another level with the Order sv.Benedikta freer charter. Prevot returned to France with his Lenka, visited his hometown of Eden, but in 1735 by order of the pope was to go to confession in Evreux.

. Having fulfilled the will of the pope, . Prevost finally reconciled with the church authorities, . thus received from Cardinal Bissio recommendation, . ensure his place the priest in the family home of Prince Conti, . cousin of Louis XV and the Grand Prior of the Order in France Maltiyskogo,
. Thus Prevost was close to the highest French nobility. Prince Conti entrusted him with the upbringing of her minor son, Prevost vying invited to the aristocratic salons. Here are animated old friendly contacts with British diplomats and writers (in particular with the creator of the English 'gothic novel' G. Walpole and the poet-sentimentalists T. Gray). Appear close acquaintances and among the French writers (Marivaux, Krebiyon, Mercier). Prevost now lives in a luxurious palace of the prince, receives a large salary.

Sometimes he manages to travel. In 1736, once in Amsterdam, Prevot met with Voltaire, who was very interested in the magazine 'Pros and Cons'. The friendship of two writers went on for several years. Voltaire even petitioned the Prussian King Frederick II for Prevost places librarian or clerk of the court, but the author of 'Manon Lescaut' at the last moment refused to post.

At the turn of the 1730-s and 1740-ies in the work of Prevost is entering a new rise. One after another went his novels: the latest volume of 'History of Cleveland "(1739), . 'Killerinsky abbot' (1735-1740), . 'History of a Greek woman' (1740), . 'Margaret of Anjou' (1740), . 'The history of youth Commander ***' (1741, . 'Philosophical debates Mr. de Monkalya' (1741), . 'William the Conqueror' (1742),
. Pre-in begins writing a novel 'moral world', was left unfinished. At the same time, having experienced another love affair, Prevost again finds itself in financial difficulty, moreover, it is found guilty of collaboration with some feuilletonist convicted of libel. Prevost forced to leave France for a year - this time he runs in Brussels. Upon his return in 1742 he again took the chaplain at the Prince de Conti. His still not quench wanderlust aging Prevost throws in the pages of a novel about adventures at sea ( 'Wanderings of Captain Robert Leida', 1745). In 1746, he enthusiastically working on a multi-volume 'History of the World Travel' - a unique study on the history of geographical discoveries, the first seven volumes of this great work is a translation of the unfinished works of Englishman D. Green, . others are written by Prevost),

The last years of his life devoted to the history of Prevost. It was adopted for the translation of English historians. So there are in France, 'History of the House of Stuart' D. Hume, 'History of Scotland' Robertson. In 1762, the Prince de Conde Requests Abbe Prevost write the history of the family of Conde, the old French type, in which there were many great political figures and famous generals. Prevost is working energetically in the family archives, kept in the family estate of Conde at Chantilly. At the same time he continues his novel 'moral world', the first volume of which has already emerged in 1760.

In his declining years Prevost had a chance to make sure that his creative endeavors have left their mark and paved the way for new directions in literature. Already in the 1740-ies in England under the pen P. Richardson blooms Sentimental lovingly-psychological novel in the family and everyday basis - a genre that was then a long and happy life in different European literatures XVIII and XIX centuries. Image psychology love conflict in the novels of Richardson suggests that their author inspired creations Prevost, which English writer, not knowing the French, read in translation. For its part, Prevost guessed value of genre innovation his English contemporaries and eagerly began to translate his novels. It was opened to the French reader Prevost 'Clarissa' (published in translation in 1751) and 'History of Sir Charles Grandison' (published in translation in 1753), which was later to Diderot and Rousseau's educational prose samples. In 1756 the Abbe Prevost became acquainted with Rousseau, who in his youth enthusiastic descriptions of the experiences of the characters 'Memoirs of a noble man', 'Manon' and 'Cleveland'. The future author of 'Confessions' to the end of his revered teacher Prevost in the image of fine movements of the soul.

Prevost died at Chantilly of apoplexy, which overtook him suddenly during a morning walk on a rural road. The writer was buried in a Benedictine monastery near Chantilly.

At that time, have all advanced scientific and philosophical thought France had been hired by D'Alembert and Diderot to creation of 'Encyclopedia'. Even Voltaire published undermining the authority of the Church posthumous 'Will' village priest Jean Meslier. One after another went Voltaire philosophical tale. Abbe Prevost did not belong to the educators, although some of them was a friendly close. Its associated with the general philosophical and religious attitudes which tend to deism and relying on the concept of Beyle, Holbach, Locke. Prevost and shared desire to bring to the educational literature of the active moral and philosophical stance, which is designed to help people to find a worthy place in life. Prevost's passion for large-scale educational tasks indicate a diverse culture-profile of his literary journal and encyclopedic character 'History of the World Travel'. His last novel, 'The moral world', and published posthumously 'Messages mentor to the young gentleman' (1764) grouped's plan to create a kind of encyclopedia of human psychology, to reveal its emotional and moral springs.

In adventure novels Prevost before the reader are pictures of life on different continents, in different countries, they are inhabited by people of different ages, classes, nations. The writer has resorted to the information from the history, geography, maritime affairs, from the memoirs and private correspondence. In most novels was dominated by philosophical beginning. Heroes are obsessed with their desire to find happiness, but not at the cost of concessions social conventions or concepts of virtue and piety, but through the full spiritual liberation, the balance of emotional and rational started. Overcoming the endless tests, they are trying to build a blissful utopia full of spiritual emancipation, the path to which educators were looking for something to improve the mind, then a return to the 'natural' manners. But the desired balance and harmony remains elusive. At the same time some heroes Prevost (eg, . killerinsky abbot) is an example of a moral self-restraint, . whereas the other portion (the noble man, . Cleveland, . Des Grieux, . Heroes 'Stories of one Greek woman') - certainly, . frustration, . illusions and errors,
. Prevost, like Voltaire, closer skepticism Beyle and Locke's presentation of the relativity of concepts than the optimistic Enlightenment belief in the benefits of pre -. It makes heroes of their own experience to make sure that not only happiness, but in general the whole world of moral ideas is fragile and volatile. Thus in the best novels he Prevost always on the side of a passionate, ability to give a sense contrary to the dogmas of all kinds. This feature of his works in combination with attention to the contradictions of the world soul and internal disharmony of the human condition allows us to see in the preview predecessor Romantics. In the words of Voltaire, 'native language was the language of the passions Prevost'. Over time, those who have read the novels of Prц╘vost, it became clear how many of them tedious passages, verbose descriptions, moralistic heaviness. Only one novel - 'Manon Lescaut' - and still is able to justify the characterization given by Voltaire. Agitated confession of love Chevalier des Grieux - the pearl of the world love Romance. About inscrutable feminine charm, embodied in Manon, in one voice said Dumas and Stendhal, Maupassant and Anatole France. Based on the novel were written plays for stage, opera (Massenet, Puccini).

In Russian has appeared in the years 1756-1764 'Notes of a noble man'. 'Manon Lescaut', first translated in 1790, then multi-gokratno published in various translations (the last of them - B. Krzhevskogo, M. Petrovsky).

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