Interview Arts Video Interviews

The Tumults of the Twentieth Century
An Interview with Antoine Compagnon

by Lucie Campos , 19 September 2014
translated by Kate McNaughton
with the support of Institut français (vidéo)

Antoine Compagnon discusses two recent projects that throw light on the intellectual history of the 20th century. The controversies surrounding the institutionalisation of sociology or anthropology illustrate how academic subjects have developed in France; a literary anthology situates the literature of the Great War within an international context.

Antoine Compagnon is a Professor at the Collège de France, where he holds the Chair of Modern and Contemporary French Literature. A historian of French literature, of theory and of literary criticism, his works include La Seconde Main ou le travail de la citation (Seuil, 1979), Nous, Michel de Montaigne (Seuil, 1980), La Troisième République des Lettres (Seuil, 1983), Proust entre deux siècles (Seuil, 1989 – published in English as Proust Between Two Centuries, Columbia UP, 1992), Les Cinq Paradoxes de la modernité (Seuil, 1990 – The Five Paradoxes of Modernity, Columbia UP, 1994), Le Démon de la théorie (Seuil, 1998 – Literature, Theory and Common Sense, Princeton UP, 2004). In this interview, he discusses the [Passage des disciplines project>], which he is currently running, and the anthology La Grande guerre des écrivains , which was recently published by Gallimard.

Prise de vue et montage : A. Suhamy

Dossier's Articles

by Lucie Campos, 19 September 2014

To quote this article :

Lucie Campos, « The Tumults of the Twentieth Century. An Interview with Antoine Compagnon », Books and Ideas , 19 September 2014. ISSN : 2105-3030. URL :

Nota Bene:

If you want to discuss this essay further, you can send a proposal to the editorial team (redaction at We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our partners

© - Any replication forbidden without the explicit consent of the editors. - Mentions légales - webdesign : Abel Poucet