Biography of Henri Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881)

Writer and Professor Swiss, born in Geneva in 1821, and died in his home town in 1881. He/She was a descendant of a family of Calvinist merchants originally from Languedoc. After completing the elementary studies and media, traveled by Italy and the South of France and Belgium. He/She completed her education in Heidelberg, where he/she learned German, to spend more later to the University of Berlin, where he/she received lessons in philosophy and aesthetics of Schelling and his school. From 1849, he/she returned to Switzerland lived secluded in his hometown, no family and few friends, where he/she had to suffer the ironic attitude of their countrymen, who ignored his poetic talent while criticising their kinds of philosophy at the Academy of aesthetics and literature in Geneva. He/She taught until 1880.

Except for small collaborations in newspapers and schoolwork of scarce broadcasting, his work was published after his death, and disseminated mainly by friends and his disciples. Apart from some poetry and works of criticism, Amiel owes its fame to the Fragments d' a journal intime (fragments of a diary), he/she wrote meticulously from 1847 until a few days before his death, and which was published in 1883-84 by Fanny Mercier. It reflected the problematic privacy of the teacher; his tragedy was a sexual abnormality produced by a shyness by overvaluation, which conditioned all his life and that he/she let the lucid reflections, accumulated in the pages of this diary. His patriotic song Roulez tambours! (Rodad, drums!, 1857) was not enough to predict future success that would know these journals published after his death.

Fragments from a diary allows to measure its literary value in its entirety, and it is discovered the drama of a tormented, unable to face the difficulties of life and make important decisions (regarding his work or his marriage, for example). In it are registered all the happenings and daily thoughts, analyzed with bitter insight. Insightful analyst of the human soul, critical and cosmopolitan spirit of his time, this master of introspection has been revealed as one of the most lucid writers visionaries of his time, while as exponent of the intellectual crisis that followed romanticism.