Odysseys / Odyssées

Travel Narratives in French / Récits de voyage en français

Odysseys / Odyssées

A critical examination of French-language travel narratives.

French Romantic Travel Writing

Chateaubriand to Nerval

French Romantic Travel Writing

This book provides a pioneering overview of the travel books produced by fourteen French Romantic writers in the first half of the nineteenth century. Their journeys ranged from Peru to Russia and from North America to North Africa and the Near East. A number of these books are acknowledged masterpieces of Romantic prose, and this study shows how their literary qualities enabled these writers (in spite of some self-indulgence) to explore fruitful approaches to theportrayal of other cultures. The book is especially concerned to show how writing such works became something of a rite of passage for French Romantics and why they published more of them than their English and German counterparts. This proves to have much to do with the demands of French culturalpolicy as it competed with British expansion after the defeat of Napoleon.

Uncharted Depths

Descent Narratives in English and French Children's Literature

Uncharted Depths

"The descent to the underworld is one of our oldest stories. It recurs in the most influential texts of early European literature - the Odyssey , the Aeneid , the Inferno - and no less so in the classics of children's literature. Vaclavik shows that retellings for young readers certainly shift emphases, working the legend through transformations of all kinds, but also that much of the traditional katabasis story remains firmly in place. The critical study of children's literature remains a relatively new field, in which such fundamental presences have gone largely unnoticed. As Vaclavik demonstrates, many novels which remain lively and resonant for adult readers richly repay critical attention. And if the incomparable explorer's tales of Jules Verne, H. Rider Haggard, Hector Malot and even Lewis Carroll have proved durable beyond all expectations, one reason may be that there is no lure like that of the underworld, and none harder to escape. Kiera Vaclavik is Lecturer in French and Comparative Literature at Queen Mary, University of London."

Radical Enlightenment

Philosophy and the Making of Modernity, 1650-1750

Radical Enlightenment

Arguably the most decisive shift in the history of ideas in modern times was the complete demolition during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries - in the wake of the Scientific Revolution - of traditional structures of authority, scientific thought, and belief by the new philosophyand the philosophes, culminating in Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau. In this revolutionary process which effectively overthrew all justicfication for monarchy, aristocracy, and ecclesiastical power, as well as man's dominance over woman, theological dominance of education, and slavery, substitutingthe modern principles of equality, democracy, and universality, the Radical Enlightenment played a crucially important part. Despite the present day interest in the revolutions of the late eighteenth century, the origins and rise of the Radical Enlightenment have been astonishingly little studieddoubtless largely because of its very wide international sweep and the obvious difficulty of fitting in into the restrictive conventions of 'national history' which until recently tended to dominate all historiography. The greatest obstacle to the Radical Enlightenment finding its proper place inmodern historical writing is simply that it was not French, British, German, Italian, Jewish or Dutch, but all of these at the same time. In this novel interpretation of the Radical Enlightenment down to La Mettie and Diderot, two of its key exponents, particular stress is placed on the pivotal roleof Spinoza and the widespread underground international philosophical movement known before 1750 as Spinozism.