Catalogue


Styles of enlightenment : taste, politics and authorship in eighteenth-century France /
Elena Russo.
imprint
Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins University Press, c2007.
description
xi, 346 p. : facsim. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0801884764 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins University Press, c2007.
isbn
0801884764 (hardcover : alk. paper)
catalogue key
6060949
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 263-329) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2007-09-01:
Frivolous, superficial, affected, and vain, the bel esprit was the vexing double of French philosophes. More dazzling than enlightening, this individual embodied the new barbarity of private patronage, disorderly stylistic experimentation, and the vagaries of public opinion. Successful and ubiquitous, he epitomized the modern aesthetics philosophes despised and sought to suppress. As Russo (Johns Hopkins Univ.) argues in this clear, well-documented book, the Enlightenment was not a coherent whole but rather a project to remap the world of knowledge and an attempt to conquer the domain of taste. For all their democratic ideals, the philosophes believed in a hierarchy of genres. Distrustful of the public's whims, they appointed themselves policemen of taste. Through expert analysis of plays, essays, memoirs, and eulogies by authors as different as Francois Fenelon, Denis Diderot, Marivaux, and Montesquieu, Russo highlights tensions between serious art and frivolous entertainment that dominated the period. She takes readers on a fascinating trip back to the 18th century, when aesthetics were consubstantial with national culture and discussions of good or bad taste implied a moral and political debate. An excellent complement to Joan DeJean's Ancients against Moderns (1997), which looks at 17th-century France. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. C. B. Kerr Vassar College
Reviews
Review Quotes
Clear, well-documented book... Highly recommended.
"Clear, well-documented book... Highly recommended." -- Choice
Drawing on recent scholarship by Jay Caplan, Gregory Brown, and Joan DeJean, as well as on an abundance of lively quotations from the literature and art criticism of this period, Russo demonstrates that the philosophes' lofty condemnation of modern taste did not prevent them from succumbing to its appeal.
"Drawing on recent scholarship by Jay Caplan, Gregory Brown, and Joan DeJean, as well as on an abundance of lively quotations from the literature and art criticism of this period, Russo demonstrates that the philosophes' lofty condemnation of modern taste did not prevent them from succumbing to its appeal." -- Giulia Pacini, Eighteenth-Century Life
Illuminating and original, Styles of Enlightenment is a welcome addition to eighteenth-century studies.
"Illuminating and original, Styles of Enlightenment is a welcome addition to eighteenth-century studies." -- Julia Douthwaite, Clio
Russo offers a new and critical perspective on the Enlightenment.
"Russo offers a new and critical perspective on the Enlightenment." -- Rori Bloom, South Atlantic Review
Styles of Enlightenment: Taste, Politics, and Authorship in Eighteenth-Century France rewrites the history of a style that has all too often been dismissed as a marginal by -- product of a decadent Regency.
Styles of Enlightenment: Taste, Politics, and Authorship in Eighteenth-Century France rewrites the history of a style that has all too often been dismissed as a marginal by-product of a decadent Regency.
"Styles of Enlightenment: Taste, Politics, and Authorship in Eighteenth-Century France rewrites the history of a style that has all too often been dismissed as a marginal by -- product of a decadent Regency." -- Giulia Paccini, Eighteenth-Century Life
The success of the book lies in Russo's ability to stitch together eighteenth-century literary and ethical theory with Augustinian theology and sociology.
"The success of the book lies in Russo's ability to stitch together eighteenth-century literary and ethical theory with Augustinian theology and sociology." -- N.B. Leddy, Modern Language Review
This absorbing, well-written study will be of tremendous interest to a wide range of readers.
"This absorbing, well-written study will be of tremendous interest to a wide range of readers." -- Geoffrey Turnovsky, H-France
What makes her contribution to eighteenth-century scholarship particularly noteworthy, even groundbreaking, is the new light it sheds on the entire movement of ideas known as the Enlightenment.
"What makes her contribution to eighteenth-century scholarship particularly noteworthy, even groundbreaking, is the new light it sheds on the entire movement of ideas known as the Enlightenment." -- Karlis Racevskis, Substance
One of those irresistable books which uncover significant and unmistakable but hitherto undetected patterns in well-known material. After reading Elena Russo, it is impossible not to see the French Enlightenment through her revealing prism.
"One of those irresistable books which uncover significant and unmistakable but hitherto undetected patterns in well-known material. After reading Elena Russo, it is impossible not to see the French Enlightenment through her revealing prism." -- David Bell, Johns Hopkins University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2007
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Summaries
Back Cover Copy
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. Through readings of fictions, essays, memoirs, eulogies, and theatrical works by F nelon, 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, and 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. "Illuminating and original, Styles of Enlightenment is a welcome addition to eighteenth-century studies." -- Clio "The success of the book lies in Russo's ability to stitch together eighteenth-century literary and ethical theory with Augustinian theology and sociology." -- Modern Language Review "What makes her contribution to eighteenth-century scholarship particularly noteworthy, even groundbreaking, is the new light it sheds on the entire movement of ideas known as the Enlightenment." -- Substance "Drawing on recent scholarship by Jay Caplan, Gregory Brown, and Joan DeJean, as well as on an abundance of lively quotations from the literature and art criticism of this period, Russo demonstrates that the philosophes' lofty condemnation of modern taste did not prevent them from succumbing to its appeal." -- Eighteenth-Century Life
Back Cover Copy
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. Through readings of fictions, essays, memoirs, eulogies, and theatrical works by Fénelon, 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, and 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. "Illuminating and original, Styles of Enlightenment is a welcome addition to eighteenth-century studies."- Clio "The success of the book lies in Russo's ability to stitch together eighteenth-century literary and ethical theory with Augustinian theology and sociology."- Modern Language Review "What makes her contribution to eighteenth-century scholarship particularly noteworthy, even groundbreaking, is the new light it sheds on the entire movement of ideas known as the Enlightenment."- Substance "Drawing on recent scholarship by Jay Caplan, Gregory Brown, and Joan DeJean, as well as on an abundance of lively quotations from the literature and art criticism of this period, Russo demonstrates that the philosophes' lofty condemnation of modern taste did not prevent them from succumbing to its appeal."- Eighteenth-Century Life
Back Cover Copy
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.Through readings of fictions, essays, memoirs, eulogies, and theatrical works by Fénelon, 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, and 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."Illuminating and original, Styles of Enlightenment is a welcome addition to eighteenth-century studies." -- Clio"The success of the book lies in Russo's ability to stitch together eighteenth-century literary and ethical theory with Augustinian theology and sociology." -- Modern Language Review"What makes her contribution to eighteenth-century scholarship particularly noteworthy, even groundbreaking, is the new light it sheds on the entire movement of ideas known as the Enlightenment." -- Substance"Drawing on recent scholarship by Jay Caplan, Gregory Brown, and Joan DeJean, as well as on an abundance of lively quotations from the literature and art criticism of this period, Russo demonstrates that the philosophes' lofty condemnation of modern taste did not prevent them from succumbing to its appeal." -- Eighteenth-Century Life
Bowker Data Service Summary
Showing how French Enlightenment thought emerged from the clash between two competing social and aesthetic world-views: marketplace modernity and the archaic, republican sublime, this book traces the stages of confrontation between the virile philosopher and the effeminate writer.
Main 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.
Main 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 F nelon, 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.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgementsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Prologue: Boudoir and Tribunep. 16
A Faded Coquette: Marivaux and the Philosophesp. 45
Fakes, Impostors, and Beaux Esprits: Conversation's Backstagep. 59
The Sly and the Coy Mistress: Style and Manner from Fenelon to Diderotp. 85
Capturing Fireside Conversation: Diderot and Marivaux's Stylistic Challengep. 113
Grace and the Epistemology of Confused Perceptionp. 141
Between Paris and Rome: Montesquieu's Poetry of Historyp. 167
Montesquieu for the Masses, or Implanting False Memoryp. 194
Everlasting Theatricality: Arlequin and the Untamed Parterrep. 221
Epilogue: The Costume of Modernityp. 252
Notesp. 263
Indexp. 331
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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