L'Aube de la Modernité 1680-1760
The purpose of this collective work is to throw new light on a period which is defined, neither in historical, nor in ideological terms, but along specific literary criteria. Across the XVIIth and the XVIIIth century, a new perspective appears on the status of literature and its relation to the author. Literature overflows the traditional limits of the so called “belles lettres” and the classical rules inherited from the tradition. Starting with The battle of the books, or with the new psychology of Marivaux’s comedies and journals, the way is paved for a new form of writing that will eventually promote a new kind of drama, rooted in real life, as well as a considerable extension of the realm of satiric inspiration. The famous “Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes” is a token of this profound change. While the prestige of the author is raised (as in Pope’s case), the domain of literature is extended to the field of social and economic life, giving models and advice even on trivial and utilitarian matters. These trends are studied in a broad European perspective by a team of scholars coming from various horizons and cultures.