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The Shock of the Ancient : Literature and History in Early Modern France

Author: Larry F. Norman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press 2011-04-15
Edition/Format: Book Book : English
Summary:
The cultural battle known as the quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns served as a sly cover for more deeply opposed views about the value of literature and the arts. One of the most public controversies of early modern Europe, the quarrel has most often been depicted as pitting antiquarian conservatives against the insurgent critics of established authority. This book turns the canonical vision of those events on its  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Larry F. Norman
ISBN: 9780226591483 0226591484 9780226591506 0226591506
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 5168486713
Awards:
Description: 296 Pages

Abstract:

The cultural battle known as the quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns served as a sly cover for more deeply opposed views about the value of literature and the arts. One of the most public controversies of early modern Europe, the quarrel has most often been depicted as pitting antiquarian conservatives against the insurgent critics of established authority. This book turns the canonical vision of those events on its head by demonstrating how the defenders of Greek literature—rather than clinging to an outmoded tradition—celebrated the radically different practices of the ancient world. At a time when the constraints of decorum and the politics of French absolutism quashed the expression of cultural differences, the ancient world presented a disturbing face of otherness. This book explores how the authoritative status of ancient Greek texts allowed them to justify literary depictions of the scandalous. The book surveys the diverse array of aesthetic models presented in these ancient works and considers how they both helped to undermine the rigid codes of neoclassicism and paved the way for the innovative philosophies of the Enlightenment.

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