Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The Journal of Literary History and Theory
Peer-reviewed Academic Journal


Konstantin V. Dushenko


Throughout almost the entire 19th century, a cultural text (metatext) was created in France, in which the image of Chauvin played a central role. As a central symbol of chauvinism, the image of Chauvin appeared in the 1830 s as a result of the contamination of two images: a farcical recruit of the Restoration named Chauvin and a Napoleonic veteran (grognard) who performed under different names. An apology for the warriors’ loyalty, the pathos of colonial conquests and liberally tinged patriotism merge into one. The rise of the image of Chauvin is accompanied by a criticism of this image as the embodiment of a rude military. In Jacques Arago’s essay “Chauvinism” (1845), the image of Chauvin was canonized as a universal type of person who “worships one god… his homeland!” The duality of the image of the farcical Chauvin the recruit and the old Chauvin the Grognard persisted for a very long time, but the first image more and more faded into the background. The authoritarian and militant ideology of the Second Empire greatly contributed to the discrediting of the image of Chauvin in démocratie et libéral circles.


literary images; cultural symbols; Napoleonic legend; grognard; N.-T. Charlet; С.-E. Lepeintre; J. Arago; G. Nadeau; A. Daudet.

For citation

Dushenko, K.V. “Nicolas Chauvin, a Legendary Patron of Chauvinism”. Literaturovedcheskii zhurnal, no. 2(56), 2022, pp. 52–77. DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2022.56.04

DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2022.56.04

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