• ''Ne nous engageons point dans des querelles': un projet de guerre perpétuelle?'

    Author(s):
    Kate Tunstall (see profile)
    Date:
    2016
    Subject(s):
    Early modern studies, French literature
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    18th Century, enlightenment
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6X910
    Abstract:
    This article considers the extent to which a quarrel might be a strategic activity for a writer or philosopher making a bid for posterity. Inveterate quarrellers like Voltaire or Rousseau come to mind, but the case to be examined here is the far less straightforward case of Diderot and in particular the stance of ‘accidental quarreller’ that he fabricates in his Essai sur les règnes de Claude et de Néron et sur les mœurs et les écrits de Sénèque pour servir à l’introduction de la lecture de ce philosophe (1782), the last work he published in his lifetime. The article argues that the Essai constitutes what might be called a « quarrel-text », that is to say a text that stages the quarrel of which it is itself the object and, in so doing, reignites it ; it analyses the stance adopted by the philosopher-quarreller as it is revealed in the paradoxical utterance « ne nous engageons point dans les querelles », the performative qualities of which are explored in detail. Keywords: quarrels, ethics, posterity, philosophy, Diderot.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal Article
    Pub. DOI:
    10.1007/s11873-016-0306-6
    Journal:
    Revue de synthèse
    Volume:
    tome 137, 6e série, n° 3-4
    Start Page:
    345
    End Page:
    372
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    4 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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