Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 2 of 2 items for :

  • Author: Daniel Gordon x
  • French Studies x
  • Refine by Access: All content x
  • Refine by Content Type: All x
Clear All Modify Search
Restricted access

Daniel Gordon

“Intellectual life is a kind of combat,” wrote Fernand Braudel. I see no reason why historians, who happen to study early-modern civility, should behave like courtiers toward each other. But in point of fact, I do not describe Professor Chartier as a member of a terrible “sect.” The term “sect” appears only in a quotation from Zygmunt Bauman. And readers will observe that what Bauman and I are both getting at is the need to be critical of the process of canonization that has been at work in Elias’s case.

Restricted access

Daniel Gordon

If social science were a sport, Norbert Elias (1897-1990) would receive the award for comeback of the century. He was undistinguished during much of his career: an interminable graduate student in Weimar Germany; a disregarded refugee in Paris in 1933-1935; a prisoner in a British camp for aliens in 1940; an adjunct in adult-education centers during the immediate postwar years in London; a prey to writer’s block with no publications in the 1940s and only a few articles in the 1950s and 1960s. Elias finally got a full-time teaching job at Leicester University in 1954. The extent of his obscurity is evident from an incident at the meeting of the International Sociological Association in 1956. When a Dutch sociologist, Johan Goudsblom, asked to be introduced to him, Elias was astonished: It was the first time anyone had made such a request. In fact, it was the first time Elias had met anyone outside of his personal circle who had read The Civilizing Process.