Montherlant, Henry de (1896–1972)
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French writer Henry de Montherlant was antifeminist, bisexual, and sometime fascist. Feeling out of step with what he considered to be an increasingly feminine and democratic age, he made a career of writing masculinist, aristocratic protests against the twentieth century. His criteria of moral excellence were centered in purity and patriotism. This did not stop him, in a characteristic moment of arrogance, welcoming the German victory over France in 1940. Montherlant made a virtue of the egocentricity he derived from his noble Catholic background. He saw himself as a pagan Christian, and was much attracted to both Spain and the Orient. An apologist for sports and violent masculinity, he regarded vigorous action as the solution to the ills of stagnation, and exercised a haughty disdain for what he regarded as the middle-class sentimentality that fears violence. All these views made him a ripe target for Simone de Beauvoir’s feminist attack on him in Le Deuxième sexe (The Second Sex, 1949).