Recommence the Defeats: Bensaïd’s Péguy

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From the late 1980s onward, Daniel Bensaïd developed an extensive theoretical oeuvre marked by the influence of Walter Benjamin intertwined with Bensaïd’s own classical Marxist background. Through Benjamin, Bensaïd came to the work of Charles Péguy, whose role in his thought has yet to be fully analyzed. Bensaïd does not ignore Péguy’s contradictions and limits but reads them selectively to better understand history, politics, and temporality. The starting point of Bensaïd’s analysis of Péguy is the triad formed by the critique of historical reason, modern temporality, and progress. Péguy was also a source of inspiration for his reflection on politics, victory, and defeat and for his framing of political commitment as a melancholic wager.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-346
Number of pages19
JournalRethinking Marxism-a Journal of Economics Culture & Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2023


  • Benjamin
  • Daniel Bensaïd
  • history
  • Charles Péguy
  • temporality


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