Fernand Baldensperger, exchange professor from the Sorbonne, takes up his work in the University with his first lecture today in Comparative Literature 50. Harvard thus acquires the services of one of the foremost scholars of the world and a master in the particular field of comparative literature. M. Baldensperger has pursued his studies in this field imbued with a literary doctrine of his own; in that the various literatures of the world are interdependent and that the intellectual activity of any nation is best explained by its relations with the literary activities of other nations.
M. Baldensperger belongs to that group of scholars which makes the study of literature a branch of the study of literature a branch of the study of history--a group in which Gustave Lanson is one of the chief figures.
Intereating Facts From His Life.
The new exchange professor was born at Saint-Die, a village close to the German frontier, in 1871. He was educated at the Paris lycee Louis le Grande and studied later at the universities of Berlin, Heidelberg and Copenhagen. He served his military term in the same regiment with Raymond Poincare, now president of France. After some years of teaching at the University of Lyons he joined the faculty of letters at the Sorbonne, where he at present holds his professorship. M. Baldensperger has written extensively for literary periodicals under the name of Fernand Baldenne. He is moreover the author of several collections of poems as well as some important works on comparative literature.
Will Conduct Three Courses.
M. Baldensperger will give Comparative Literature 50, 51 and 52, half courses. The first is a study of the conception of a gentleman among French classicists of the 17th century; it will be conducted in French on Wednesdays, and Fridays at 4.30 o'clock and will be open to the public. Course 51 will deal with problems of comparative literature, especially such as concern the relations of French and English literature. It will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3.30 o'clock. Course 52 will offer an explanation of certain of Alfred deVigny's poems in their relation to English poetry, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1.30 o'clock