Diderot and European Culture

Diderot and European Culture

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The shift in the interpretation of eighteenth-century European culture over the last century provokes the questions: what meaning can be ascribed to that notion at the beginning of the twenty-first century? and how should we see Diderot's response to it?

This collection of essays re-examines Diderot's uniquely rich relationship with the intellectual life of European nations, and his crucial role in focusing, connecting and spreading its many strands. While sharing certain Eurocentric prejudices, he held a more liberated view of a common humanity and the universal nature of human aspirations. These essays explore his interest in those hybrid, borderline zones, where systems, hierarchies, and national or disciplinary boundaries come under productive stress. What emerges is the irreducibility of his writing, which resists incorporation into any officially sanctioned canon. The Diderot being created by today's scholars is truly protean, not so much French, or even European, as global, a cultural icon for the modern age.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 261 pages
  • 156 x 234mm
  • Voltaire Foundation
  • Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • English, French
  • 0729408833
  • 9780729408837

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Table of contents

List of illustrations
List of abbreviations

Anthony Strugnell and Frederic Ogee, Introduction

I. The non-European other
Srinivas Aravamudan, Talking jewels and other oriental seductions
Andrew Curran, Diderot and the Encyclopedie's construction of the Black African

II. The European experience
Gianluigi Goggi, Diderot et la Russie: colonisation et civilisation.
Projets et experience directe
Colas Duflo, La statue du bon despote: Diderot et la figure de Pierre le Grand
Girolamo Imbruglia, Un voyage manque: Diderot, Grimm et le mythe de Venise
Anthony Strugnell, An island race: Diderot's deconstruction of English history

III. Translating English thought
Frederic Ogee, Diderot and Richardson
Julie Candler Hayes, Around 1740: Diderot and the subject of translation
Marian Hobson, Diderot, the European underground and English radical thought: filling out the gaps
John O'Neal, Diderot and the Enlightenment's poetics of confusion in the Lettre sur les aveugles

IV. Constructing `Diderot'
Nicholas Cronk, Hobbes and Hume: determining voices in Jacques le fataliste et son maitre
Daniel Brewer, Diderot and the culture of belatedness
Jean-Claude Bourdin, Comment (ne pas) heriter de Diderot?

List of works cited
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