The Eighteenth Century Now

Boundaries and Perspectives

Edited by Jonathan Mallinson

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ISBN: 9780729408660

Publication: October 13, 2005

Series: Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment 2005:10

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Published to mark the fiftieth anniversary of SVEC, this collection of essays examines the current state of eighteenth-century French studies; it revisits a familiar canon, investigates more recently discovered fields of enquiry, and explores new perspectives for research.

Eighteenth-century studies today are characterised above all by their re-examination of categories and boundaries. We are witnessing a progressive broadening of the canon, not least in our rediscovery of women's writing, and a reinvestigation of apparently 'minor' works by apparently 'familiar' authors. There has been path-breaking research, too, in areas which reflect our broadening conception of eighteenth-century studies, from literature of travel to post-colonial writing, translation to the press, popular literature to clandestine manuscripts. 
Different perspectives on eighteenth-century writing have been opened up by new ways of reading which draw on research in cultural studies, history of the book or rhetorical analysis. New insights have emerged from studying the interaction of text and image, word and music, the points of contact between the worlds of science and the arts, of politics, philosophy and literature, exchanges across national and linguistic boundaries, or across the artificial divisions of 'one' century. 

Inclusive, interdisciplinary and international, this volume embodies the principles which inspired the creation of SVEC by Theodore Besterman in 1955; it investigates our changing images of writers and writing to the categories in which we may try to confine them, from 'Voltaire' to the 'eighteenth century'. The Eighteenth century now suggests our sense of identification with the period, the vibrancy of present research in both individual and collaborative projects, and the promise of immediacy and exchange in the electronic age. But it also evokes the boundaries which remain, financial, institutional, intellectual, and which present the challenge of the future. Its aim is as much to provoke thought as to provide answers, to stimulate as well as to celebrate.

List of illustrations


Jonathan Mallinson, The eighteenth century now: reading beyond the lines

I. Defamiliarising a canon
Nicholas Cronk, Inventing Voltaire
Catherine Volpilhac-Auger et Catherine Larrère, Montesquieu en mouvement
Marian Hobson, Diderot and oblivion / Diderot in the future tense
Jacques Berchtold, Du nouveau dans les études rousseauistes? A propos de l’approche thématique
David Coward, Adventures of the novel
Simon Davies, Poetry reborn
Philip Robinson, Eighteenth-century theatre: the triumph of parody
Daniel Brewer, Remembering the Encyclopédie

II. Discovering new worlds
Marie-Laure Girou Swiderski et Suzan van Dijk, La littérature au féminin
Shelly Charles, Traduire au dix-huitième siècle
François Moureau, Le voyageur français et les étranges étrangers: bilan d’études sur le siècle des Lumières
Anthony Strugnell, Colonialism and its discourses
Jean Sgard, L’univers des journaux
Lise Andries, Réflexions sur la notion de littérature populaire
Antony McKenna, Les manuscrits philosophiques clandestins
Mark Ledbury, Imagining the Salon: mapping art criticism in the eighteenth century

III. Crossing boundaries
Philip Stewart, L’illustration du roman au dix-huitième siècle
Michael O’Dea, ‘Visions inintelligibles’ et ‘vérités apocalyptiques’: théorie et pratique de l’opéra français
Yannick Séité, Le livre des Lumières et son étude
Jean-Paul Sermain, La rhétorique dans l’histoire culturelle, la pensée et les textes littéraires du dix-huitième siècle
Anne Vila, Getting cultural: new perspectives in eighteenth-century science studies
Catherine Larrère, De la politique des Lumières à celle de la modernité
Giuseppi Ricuperati, Définir les Lumières: centres et périphéries du point de vue européen, cosmopolite et italien
Michel Delon, Questions de périodisation



''a lively testament to the healthy state of eighteenth-century studies [...] the volume offers a summa of the current state of those studies, with articles by a team of leading authorities not just covering well-established author, genres, themes and disciplines, but also their less familiar emerging offshoots.'
- Times Literary Supplement


Format: Paperback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

365 Pages

Copyright: © 2005

ISBN: 9780729408660

Publication: October 13, 2005

Series: Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment 2005:10

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