- Dramatic Experience
- Poetics of Drama and Early Modern Public Sphere(s)
- Diderot’s Battle against Books : Books as Objects during the Enlightenment and Revolution
- Numéros en texte intégral
Biographical Note Katja Gvozdeva, Ph. She has published on French, Italian, and German literature and theatre, medieval and early modern European carnivalesque culture and history of literary and dramatic societies, including Savoirs ludiques: Her research interests include early modern political thought, the reception of the classical tradition, the history of theatre in comparative perspective — , and opera studies.
She is currently working on a book about the interaction between political discourse, spectatorship, and the emergent public sphere in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Italian theatre. Il joue au prodige-proche-des-gens, en somme. Or, que fait un bon prodige-proche-des-gens?
- Sagen aus Schleswig-Holstein (German Edition).
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Pour autant, il le fait avec enthousiasme , il y met de la passion , il semble vraiment y croire: En effet, imaginons ce qui se serait produit en changeant simplement quelques variables. Ce serait, en somme, un classique. Why do irrational beliefs mimic science? The cultural evolution of pseudoscience, Theoria , 83, The practical and principled problems with educational neuroscience, Psychological Review , , Advice for improving memory: Cultural recycling of cortical maps, Neuron , 56, The seven strategies of the sophisticated pseudo-scientist: On bullshit , Princeton, Princeton University Press.
Naive realism in public perceptions of neuroimages, Nature Reviews Neuroscience , 12, On the dynamics of human bonding and reproductive success: In the Lettre sur le commerce de la librairie , Diderot includes a brief history of publishing that hardly glorifies Gutenberg or his French contemporaries. Like the Moderns, he asserts that old books have less value because they have been surpassed by new books. On the other hand, his standard examples of books that are worth publishing are nearly always classics by Greek and Roman authors, such as Homer, Plato, and Virgil in addition to a few Enlightenment favorites, such as Pierre Bayle, Isaac Newton, and Voltaire:.
In a speech to the Assembly on June 19, Condorcet proclaimed:. Some believed that this initiative exclusively applied to genealogical documents and property deeds; others assumed it applied to any historical documents or any book that bore a coat of arms on its binding. If the policy was understood as applying to books, then the old, rare, and luxuriously bound volumes that had been ensconced in aristocratic homes and in religious institutions 46 would be subjected to a stern triage.
On the one hand, the idea of livres utiles that advances science seems strikingly similar in Enlightenment and Revolutionary discourse. Condorcet, for example, recommends in his report on public education that the populace be kept away from Greek and Latin texts, because they contain too much outdated information:.
Poetics of Drama and Early Modern Public Sphere(s)
The philosophes argued for restrictions on publication in order to uphold their own authority as critics. They wished to transfer the privileges of the elites to themselves, not create a system of equality in intellectual matters. By contrast, the Revolutionaries, such as Condorcet, wished to sweep away evidence that supported past aristocratic privilege and institute a system of education from which all would benefit, even if there would be an eventual selection of better students who could move on to higher spheres of scholarship.
Opposing the idolization of books is not the same as advocating for mass education. When he presented his Rapport sur la bibliographie to the National Convention in , he made the case for selective destruction and preservation, using very similar terms as the Enlightenment philosophes. It is appropriate, then, that he calls for the preservation of knowledge, even if it has been superseded.
First, he justifies this new policy by claiming that printing and binding are arts in themselves, so we must value rare books. Finally, he makes a suggestion that would sound perfectly reasonable to present-day scholars: Diderot focused on making progress by surpassing the past; this past would become disposable, as it was replaced with new and better knowledge — in other words, new and better books.
Nevertheless, those who wished to preserve old books, as well as historical archives and other elements of the French patrimoine , also relied on a linear vision of time, 58 but in this case, the passing of time would allow the past to be safely contained, no longer a threat to the present or the future. In fact, faulty versions of old texts, if they were old and rare enough, became prizes of unheard-of monetary value for collectors and libraries during the time of the French Revolution. When the Bodleian Library of Oxford University started buying fifteenth-century editions from France in the s, for example, its librarians claimed that they needed these in order to establish good scholarly editions of Greek and Latin classics.
Diderot’s Battle against Books : Books as Objects during the Enlightenment and Revolution
Soon, however, Oxford librarians as well as private collectors dropped this pretense and started buying books because of their age and other external properties. The collections undermined the original intellectual motives for their formation. We would celebrate the advent of the disembodied text, the computer file that can be transferred or copied infinitely.
Not only can the computerized document detach itself from any commercial considerations, since it is free as long as it does not have a copyright, but it also cannot be fetishized as an object. How can people communicate without the conventional signs of language? Their campaign may have had some success, to the extent that politicians were even willing to carry out their ideals in reality by burning books.
But the tide turned, rare books became part of the patrimoine , and the ever-increasing number of readers demanded to enjoy literature according to their own varied standards.
Numéros en texte intégral
We have inherited this state of affairs. In yet other parts of our society, the intelligentsia will laud the latest post-modernist novel, but a separate segment of the reading public will still defend the virtues of Stephen King, Tyler Perry, and the Twilight series, without any group bothering to oppose or even being conscious of the other.
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University of Pennsylvania Press, , chapter 1. Diderot may or may not have written this article, but as editor, he needed to have read and approved it. They maintain the principal Place in the Study of almost every elegant and high Divine. Gallimard, , 7. La science de la Cour.