Œuvres de 1711-1722 (I)

Author: Voltaire

Volume: 1A

Series: Œuvres complètes de Voltaire

Volume Editors: David Jory and John Renwick

Publication Date: 2001

Pages: 508

ISBN: 978-0-7294-0745-8

Price: £105


This volume brings together Voltaire’s earliest works, from fragments of a schoolboy play to his first publications when, leaving school determined to be a poet, Voltaire’s satires soon earned him notoriety, and, in 1717, eleven months imprisonment in the Bastille. Amulius et Numitor is said to have been started when Voltaire was only twelve years old. The play was later destroyed, possibly by the author himself, and only fragments survive. By contrast Voltaire’s first published play, Œdipe, was the most successful first production of any French tragic dramatist, displaying his remarkable ability to understand and satisfy public tastes. It was an explosive first choice for a play, declaring Voltaire a rival to the great Corneille and the Ancients, and as able as they were to treat a defining myth of Western culture. The accompanying Lettres sur Œdipe (here included with detailed commentaries) proved more controversial, as the writer’s arrogance and attacks on other writers provided ample material for his critics. The final play in this volume, Artémire, is the first significant literary production of Voltaire which he wished never to be republished.

Table of contents

Amulius et Numitor (fragments) (édition critique par John Renwick)

Œdipe (critical edition by David Jory)

Lettres sur Œdipe (critical edition by David Jory)

Artémire (critical edition by David Jory)


Studi Francesi, No 3, Vol. XLVI

In the introduction, as long as it is full of useful information, David Jory aims at providing the best answers about the number of issues this pièce arises in all scholars.

Revue Voltaire

Dans son introduction à Œdipe, d’une richesse remarquable, Jory expose longuement les circonstances de la genèse, les enjeux idéologiques et esthétiques du coup d’essai de Voltaire: on peut ne pas toujours partager les vues du critique dont, cependant, on admire a chaque page, ici comme ailleurs, la sagacité et les connaissances.

Voltaire Foundation

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