Fiction Books:

Styles of Enlightenment

Taste, Politics, and Authorship in Eighteenth-Century France

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Styles of Enlightenment by Elena Russo
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Description

Styles of Enlightenment argues that alongside its democratic ideals and its efforts to create a unified public sphere, the Enlightenment also displayed a tendency to erect rigid barriers when it came to matters of style and artistic expression. The French philosophes tackled the issue of the hierarchy of genres with surprising inflexibility, and they looked down on those forms of art that they saw as commercial, popular, and merely entertaining. They were convinced that the standard of taste was too important a matter to be left to the whims of the public and the vagaries of the marketplace: aesthetic judgment ought to belong to a few, enlightened minds who would then pass it on to the masses.Through readings of fictions, essays, memoirs, eulogies, and theatrical works by Fenelon, Bouhours, Marivaux, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Mercier, Thomas, and others, Styles of Enlightenment traces the stages of a confrontation between the virile philosophe and the effeminate worldly writer, "good" and "bad" taste, high art and frivolous entertainment, state patronage and the privately sponsored marketplace, the academic eulogy and worldly conversation. It teases out the finer points of division on the public battlefields of literature and politics and the new world of contesting sexual economies.

Author Biography

Elena Russo is a professor of 17th- and 18th-century French literature at the Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of several books, including La Cour et la ville de la litterature classique aux Lumieres and S keptical Selves: Empiricism and Modernity in the French Novel.
Release date Australia
November 20th, 2009
Author
Country of Publication
United States
Illustrations
No
Imprint
Johns Hopkins University Press
Pages
366
Dimensions
152x229x22
ISBN-13
9780801894114
Product ID
3715200

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