Biography

Antoine Compagnon, born on July 20, 1950 in Brussels, has been professor of "Modern and Contemporary French Literature: history, criticism, and theory" at the Collège de France since 2006. He has also been Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York since 1985, holding the "Blanche W. Knopf" chair since 1991.

Formerly a student at the École Polytechnique (1970), and an engineer from the Ponts et Chaussées engineering school (1975), he was awarded a PhD in arts in 1985.

His most important publications 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), Les Cinq Paradoxes de la modernité (Seuil, 1990), L'Esprit de l'Europe (collaboration) (Flammarion, 1993), Chat en poche : Montaigne et l'allégorie (Seuil, 1993), Connaissez‐vous Brunetière ? (Seuil, 1997), Le Démon de la théorie (Seuil, 1998), Baudelaire devant l'innombrable (PUPS, 2003), Les Antimodernes, de Joseph de Maistre à Roland Barthes (Gallimard, 2005), the Pierre‐Georges Castex Prize from the Académie des sciences morales et politiques (French Academy of Ethical and Political Sciences), Criticism prize of the Académie française (French Academy), La Littérature, pour quoi faire ? (Collège de France/Fayard, 2007), Que reste‐t‐il de la culture française ?, (collaboration) (Denoël, 2008), Le Cas Bernard Faÿ. Du Collège de France à l'indignité nationale (Gallimard, 2009).

He has also published editions of Proust, Du côté de chez Swann (Gallimard, "Folio", 1988), Sodome et Gomorrhe (Gallimard, "Pléiade", 1988, and "Folio", 1989), Carnets, (collaboration) (Gallimard, 2002); Albert Thibaudet, Réflexions sur la politique (Robert Laffont, "Bouquins", 2007), Réflexions sur la littérature (Gallimard, "Quarto", 2007); Charles Péguy, L'Argent (Éd. des Équateurs, 2008); Paul Bourget, Le Disciple (Le Livre de Poche, 2010).

He was a Thiers Foundation resident (1975‐1978), assistant professor at the École polytechnique (1978‐1985), professor at the Institut français du Royaume-Uni (French Cultural Institute in the UK), London (1980‐1981), lecturer and then assistant professor at the University of Haute Normandie, Rouen (1981‐1985), visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (1986 and 1990), Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1988), professor at the University of Maine, Le Mans (1989‐1990), Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford (1994), professor at the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne (1994‐2006), and Eminent Scientist of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (2009).

He has held the office of secretary general of the Association internationale des études françaises (International Association of French Studies) (1998‐2008), and has been a member of the Conseil national des universités (French National Council of Universities) (1999‐2003), of the Conseil supérieur de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (National Council of Higher Education and Research) (2002‐2007), of the Conseil supérieur de l'éducation (Higher Council for Education) (2003‐2007), as well as Chairman of the Association pour la qualité de la science française (Association for the Quality of French Science), Chairman of the Scientific Committee at the École normale supérieure (ENS) (2007‐2010) and Chairman of the Classic Literature and Literary Criticism committee at the Centre national du livre (National Book Center) (2008‐2010). He has been a member of the Haut Conseil de l'éducation (High Council for Education) since 2006, a member of the Haut Conseil de la science et de la technologie (High Council of Science and Technology) since 2006, and director of UPS 3285 "République des lettres" (The Republic of Literature) at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS, or French National Center for Scientific Research) since 2009.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Academia Europaea, corresponding member of the British Academy, and Doctor honoris causa of King's College, London. He is also a Knight of the Legion of Honor and Commander of the Academic Awards.