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They Fluttered like Moths: Exile and Cosmopolitanism in the Work of Germaine de Staël and Georg Brandes

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Other Capitals of the Nineteenth Century

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature ((PMEL))

Abstract

In Georg Brandes’s first lecture series at the University of Copenhagen in 1871, he explores exile as a catalyst for intellectual development, positing Madame de Staël as a pioneering figure of cosmopolitanism and cultural exchange. This essay traces Brandes’s reading of Staël, beginning with the community she set up at Coppet, which shows how symbolic capital can thrive without political strength. Another significant locus for both Staël and Brandes was Rome, which provided a cosmopolitan alternative to Paris for exiles and visitors alike. Both Coppet and Rome also act as alternative models for Copenhagen toward the end of the century. Despite their constant fascination with Paris—the eponymous flame—the examples of Staël and Brandes show how different forms of capital can be found elsewhere.

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Correspondence to Lynn R. Wilkinson .

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Wilkinson, L.R. (2017). They Fluttered like Moths: Exile and Cosmopolitanism in the Work of Germaine de Staël and Georg Brandes. In: Hibbitt, R. (eds) Other Capitals of the Nineteenth Century. Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-57085-7_3

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