French writer and nationalist activist. In a trilogy of novels collectively entitled Le Culte du moi/The Cult of the Ego (1888–91) he expounded an individualistic philosophy, the need to cultivate all aspects of a personality. He emerged as a champion of regionalism and nationalism in his second trilogy of novels, Le Roman de l'énergie nationale/The Novel of National Energy (1897–1902).
Nationalism, particularly French nationalism in the context of German-occupied Alsace-Lorraine, was also the theme of his novels Au Service de l'Allemagne/In the Service of Germany (1905) and Colette Baudoche (1909), to which he gave the collective title Les Bastions de l'Est/Bastions of the East.
Right-wing politics His nationalism also led him to take an active part in politics: he joined the boulangist movement, opposed the reopening of the Dreyfus case, was president of the Ligue des Patriotes, and was at various times a right-wing member of the French parliament.
Work Among his other works are novels inspired by foreign countries: Du sang, de la volupté et de la mort/Blood, Voluptuousness and Death (1894; about Spain), Amori et dolori sacrum (1903), Le Voyage de Sparte/The Trip to Sparta (1906), Greco ou Le Secret de Tolède/El Greco or the Secret of Toledo (1911), Un Jardin sur l'Oronte/A Garden on the Oronte (1922), La Colline inspirée/The Sacred Hill (1913; perhaps his best novel), La grande Pitié des églises de France/The Great Pity of the Churches of France (1914), Le Génie du Rhin/The Genius of the Rhine (1921), Chronique de la grande guerre/Chronicle of the Great War (1921–24; 14 volumes) and 14 volumes of posthumous Cahiers/Notebooks (1929–57).