Diderot and European culture

Volume: 2006:09

Series: SVEC

Volume Editors: Frédéric Ogée and Anthony Strugnell

Series Collaborators: Srinivas Aravamudan, Duke University, NC; Jean-Claude Bourdin, Université de Poitiers; Daniel Brewer, University of Minnesota; Nicholas Cronk, Voltaire Foundation, University of Oxford; Andrew Curran, Wesleyan University, CT; Colas Duflo, Université de Picardie – Jules Verne; Gianluigi Goggi, Università di Pisa; Julie Candler Hayes, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, MA; Marian Hobson, Queen Mary, University of London; Girolamo Imbruglia, Università di Napoli; Frédéric Ogée, Université Paris 7 – Denis Diderot; John O’Neal, Hamilton College, NY; Anthony Strugnell, University of Hull.<br>

Publication Date: 2006

Pages: 261

ISBN: 978-0-7294-0883-7

Price: £65


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.

List of illustrations
List of abbreviations
Anthony Strugnell and Frédéric Ogée, Introduction
I. The non-European other
Srinivas Aravamudan, Talking jewels and other oriental seductions
Andrew Curran, Diderot and the Encyclopédie’s construction of the Black African
II. The European experience
Gianluigi Goggi, Diderot et la Russie: colonisation et civilisation. Projets et expérience directe
Colas Duflo, La statue du bon despote: Diderot et la figure de Pierre le Grand
Girolamo Imbruglia, Un voyage manqué: Diderot, Grimm et le mythe de Venise
Anthony Strugnell, An island race: Diderot’s deconstruction of English history
III. Translating English thought
Frédéric Ogée, 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 maître
Daniel Brewer, Diderot and the culture of belatedness
Jean-Claude Bourdin, Comment (ne pas) hériter de Diderot?
List of works cited


Modern Language Review

The majority of essays […] rest upon a considerable body of knowledge and benefit from the expertise these writers have acquired in the analysis of Diderot’s complex texts and their historical context. …there is matter here to attract Diderot scholars from a broad spectrum of interests.

Voltaire Foundation

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