Turmoil: Instability and insecurity in the eighteenth-century Francophone text

BookTurmoil: Instability and insecurity in the eighteenth-century Francophone text

Turmoil: Instability and insecurity in the eighteenth-century Francophone text

Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2022:05


May 9th, 2022





What is turmoil? How may it be captured? What were its manifestations in the eighteenth century? Why does it feel so familiar, even urgent, nowadays? Turmoil proposes a completely new ontology of turmoil through study of its incidence and impact in the eighteenth-century francophone context. The interdisciplinary essays in this bilingual volume provide multiple illustrations of eighteenth-century instability and insecurity, as well as subsequent adjustments to a post-turmoil new normal. Each instance illuminates human resilience and the mechanisms of post-turmoil elasticity and adaptation in Enlightenment, revolutionary and post-revolutionary writing by female authors Charrière and Monbart, in publications by male authors Beaumarchais, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Chamfort, Dupaty, Raynal, Sade and Voltaire, and also in writing by relatively unknown authors, journalists and critics, who capture the turmoil of the global francophone eighteenth-century world. The topics explored emerge as universal ones, familiar to a modern readership: textual and visual revisionism, symbolism within natural disasters, realignment of beliefs, instability of memory, repositioning of historical narratives, female insecurity, attacks on public figures, post-revolutionary resilience and the impact of exile. Through its unique identification of three key generative indicators for turmoil —phenomenon, paradigm shift, elasticity of adaptation— this volume’s contributors deliver a distinctive, rich and new ontology of turmoil.


Author Information

Síofra Pierse is Associate Professor in French and Head of SLCL at University College Dublin. She specialises in 18th-century French literature, is editor of The City in French Writing (UCD Press), co-editor of The Dark Side of Diderot (Peter Lang), author of Voltaire historiographer: Narrative Paradigms (Voltaire Foundation) and Voltaire: A Reference Guide (forthcoming). Emma M. Dunne completed her PhD in French under Síofra Pierse (supervisor) as Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholar and Resident Scholar at UCD Humanities Institute, University College Dublin. Her PhD investigates concepts of happiness, identity, migration and exile within the writings of Dutch-Swiss francophone author and composer, Isabelle de Charrière.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
AcknowledgementsTable of ContentsList of IllustrationsCatriona Seth. Preface.                                               Síofra Pierse. Introduction: Turmoil, Instability, Adaptation, Elasticity in the Eighteenth-Century Francophone TextSECTION I – Intimations of InsecurityIoana Galleron and Chiara Mainardi. Troubles, désordres, crises: une approche numérique des expressions de la tourmente au XVIIIe siècleKate E. Tunstall. The Knife and the Pen: The Attentat of 1757James Hanrahan. Political Turmoil in Voltaire’s Vision and Revision of the FrondeSECTION II – Filtering Natural Disasters Jenny Mander. The Antilles, the Natural History of Hurricanes and Earthquakes, the Seven Years’ War and Global Commerce through the Lens of Abbé Raynal’s Histoire philosophique et politique des deux Indes                                        Laurence Macé. (Ré)inventer le Vésuve, modéliser la catastrophe, vivre la tourmente: Dupaty en Italie méridionale à la veille de la RévolutionSíofra Pierse. Voltaire and the Lisbon Disaster: From Aftershocks to AtaraxySECTION III – Instability and MemoryCyril Francès. Poétique de l’émotion populaire dans les Tableaux historiques de la Révolution française de Nicolas Chamfort  Adam Schoene. Turmoil and Corruption in Joséphine de Monbart’s Lettres tahitiennesErin-Marie Legacey. Disorder and the Dead in Revolutionary ParisSECTION IV –  Sade and Female MarginalisationEdward T. O’Sullivan. Fictional Turmoil: The Bloodlust of Women in Sadean Libertine NarrativesShasha Ma. L’Insécurité du sexe féminin: de l’infanticide au féminicide chez SadeSECTION V – Resilience post TurmoilSimon Davies. Bernardin de Saint-Pierre: le solitaire engagé Gabriel-Robert Thibault. La Résistance spirituelle dans la France des philosophesEmma M. Dunne. ‘A moi! A un proscrit! A un malheureux fugitif!’: Isabelle de Charrière’s Emigré-e-s amid the Turmoil of ExileJohn Leigh. Revolutionary Upheaval and Domestic Turmoil in Beaumarchais’s unsung play La Mère coupableNotes on ContributorsBibliography of Works CitedIndex