Morale et désenchantement: Sainte-Beuve lecteur de La Rochefoucauld

Sainte-Beuve’s literary criticism deserves consideration as part of the tradition of French moralistes and this article concentrates on his treatment of La Rochefoucauld. Their relationship sheds light, first on Sainte-Beuve’s coming of age as he rids himself of the hold of both Catholicism and Romanticism, second on his discussion of self-love which is the central theme of the Maximes, and finally on his adoption of a method of skepticism which sidesteps the moral certainties of Christian charity and of Enlightenment progress. (In French)