Jean Starobinski

1984 Balzan Prize for History and Criticism of Literature

For his outstanding contribution to the knowledge of French and European culture through his research on literature, history, psychoanalysis and linguistics, which reveals a subtle intellect, and profound knowledge of numerous authors of different historical periods.

Professor Emeritus of the University of Geneva, member of the Institut de France;
Professor in French Literature and in the History of Ideas as well as Doctor of Medicine.
Swiss citizen

Jean Starobinski was born in Geneva on November 17, 1920 (†2019).

Assistant Professor of French Literature at the University of Geneva (1946-1949);

Assistant physician at the clinic of therapeutics of the “Hôpital cantonal” of Geneva (1950-1953);

Assistant Professor at the Department of Romance Languages of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (1953-1956);

Assistant physician at the mental hospital of Cery, Lausanne (1957-1958);

Professor of the History of Ideas at the University of Geneva (1958-1985) and of the History of Medicine (1966-1985); now Professor Emeritus;

Chairman of the Société de Belles-Lettres of Geneva (1942-1943), of the Société J.-J. Rousseau, Geneva (1965-1992) and of the Rencontres Internationales de Genève (1965-1980 and since 1984);

He is a member of the Société Suisse d’Histoire de la Médecine (Vice-Chairman from 1976 to 1980), of the Comité du Conservatoire de Musique de Genève, of the Jury du Prix des Critiques (Paris), of the Jury du Prix Montaigne, of the Comité du Prix de composition Reine Marie-José, Geneva, and of the Balzan General Prize Committee (1989-2000);

Foreign member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, of the British Academy, London, of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung and of the Académie des Sciences morales et politiques (France);

Doctor honoris causa from the University of Montreal, Columbia and John Hopkins University, and in Europe from the universities of Brussels, Cluj, Lille, Nantes, Neuchâtel, Oslo, Strasbourg, Turin, Urbino end ETH Zurich;

Jean Starobinski has published more than 300 papers as well as numerous translations and prefaces.
Furthermore, he is the author of the following books of which many have been translated into English, German, Spanish, Rumanian, Italian and Japanese:

– Montesquieu (Paris, Seuil, 1953, 1994);
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau: la transparence et l’obstacle (Paris, Plon, 1957; edition with 7 additional essays, Paris, Gallimard, 1971);
– Histoire du traitement de la mélancolie. Acta psychosomatica (Basel, Geigy, 1960);
– L’oeil vivant (Paris, Gallimard, 1961, 1999);
– L’invention de la liberté (Genève, Skira, 1964);
– Les mots sous les mots. Les anagrammes de Ferdinand de Saussure (Paris, Gallimard, 1964, 1971);
– L’oeil vivant II. La relation critique (Paris, Gallimard, 1970);
– Portrait de l’artiste en saltimbanque (Genève, Skira, 1970; Paris, Flammarion, 1983);
– 1789. Les emblèmes de la raison (Paris, Flammarion, 1973);
– Trois fureurs (Paris, Gallimard, 1974);
– Montaigne en mouvement (Paris, Gallimard, 1982);
– Garache (Paris, Flammarion, 1988);
– Table d’orientation (Lausanne, L’Age de l’homme, 1989);
– Le Remède dans le Mal (Paris, Gallimard, 1989);
– La Mélancolie au Miroir: trois lectures de Baudelaire (Paris, Julliard, 1989);
– Diderot dans l’espace des peintres (Paris, Réunion des musées nationaux, 1991);
– Largesse (Paris, Réunion des musées nationaux, 1994);
– Action et Réaction. Vie et aventures d’un couple (Paris, Seuil, 1999).

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