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The language of nature in Buffon's Histoire naturelle

Author: Hanna Roman
Publisher: [Liverpool] : Liverpool University Press on behalf of Voltaire Foundation, [2018] ©2018
Series: Oxford University studies in the Enlightenment, 2018:10.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Drawing from literary studies, philosophy, and the history of science, in this interdisciplinary study Hanna Roman argues that the language of Buffon's Histoire naturelle (1749-1788) could not be separated from the science it conveyed; the language communicated nature's vital order, form and movement. In the Histoire naturelle, the ability of language to embody and communicate the living essence of nature grew  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Literary criticism
Named Person: Georges Louis Leclerc Buffon, comte de; Georges Louis Leclerc Buffon, comte de
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Hanna Roman
ISBN: 9781786941398 1786941392
OCLC Number: 1056746700
Language Note: Text in English; some passages in French followed by their English translation.
Description: xi, 210 pages ; 24 cm.
Contents: Preface --
Introduction : enlightenment natural history and literary invention --
Style : combining rhetoric and knowledge --
Harmonizing world and word --
Natural history : between physics and history --
The literary practice of natural history --
Summary of chapters --
1. Inventing natural language : the harmonization of mind and world --
Mathematical rules and natural laws --
Buffon and natural law : relativizing perception --
Inventing and intervening : Montesquieu and the natural laws of history --
Scaling the levels of perception : the evolving relationship with nature in the 'Histoire naturelle' --
2. Generating heat : the energy of natural language --
Introducing heat ' de l'art d'écrire --
Heat : the material interface with nature --
Between body and mind : the spirit of language --
The energy of the natural historical text --
3. Writing nature : the foundations of natural history --
The "discours sur le style" : translating the movement of nature --
The mise-en-scène of style in the 'Histoire naturelle', 1749 --
From style to history : reading temporality into nature's story --
4. Hypothesis and the energy of invention --
Hypothesis and the invention of a verisimilar world --
Hypothesis and heat : inventing the hidden mechanism of nature --
Making heat real : the hypothesis in the "epoques de la nature" --
5. Reinventing nature's heat --
Buffon's theorization of heat --
The natural history of human beings : a story of inventing the temperature --
Writign the future with heat --
Conclusion : preserving the heat of 'Histoire naturelle' --
Rethinking Buffon's intellectual legacy --
Condorcet's 'Eloge de M. de Buffon' --
Saving style for posterity --
The literary experiment.
Series Title: Oxford University studies in the Enlightenment, 2018:10.
Responsibility: Hanna Roman.

Abstract:

Hanna Roman examines Buffon's Histoire naturelle, arguing that the written language of natural history in the Enlightenment was itself a form of knowledge, with Buffon's literary simulacrum of nature  Read more...

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