Ancients Against Moderns by Joan DeJean
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Ancients Against Moderns
By Joan DeJean

Ancients Against Moderns

Culture Wars and the Making of a Fin de Siecle New edition

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Format: Paperback

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Ancients Against Moderns by Joan DeJean

Book Awards

  • Shortlisted for Modern Language Association James Russell Lowell Prize 1998.

Book Description

As the end of the 20th century approaches, many predict that it will mirror the 19th-century decline into decadence. The author of this text finds a closer analogy with the culture wars of France in the 1690s - the time of a battle of the books known as the Quarrel between the Ancients and Moderns. The book reassesses current culture wars from the perspective of that earlier fin de siecle, and re-reads the 17th century Quarrel from the vantage of 20th-century warring "ancients" and "moderns". In so doing, DeJean shows that a fin de siecle taking place in the shadow of culture wars can be more a source of constructive cultural revolution than of apocalyptic gloom and doom. Just as the first fin de siecle's battle of the books served as the spark which set off the Enlightenment, introducing radically new sexual and social politics which laid the groundwork for modernity, so current culture wars can result in radical, liberating changes, if we take an active stand against our own "ancients" who seek to stifle such reforms.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780226141381
ISBN-10: 0226141381
Format: Paperback
(227mm x 151mm x 15mm)
Pages: 236
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 6-Mar-1997
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Joan DeJean

How Paris Became Paris by Joan DeJean How Paris Became Paris, Paperback (July 2015)

Explores the idea that by 1700 Paris had become the capital that would transform forever our conception of the city and of urban life.

Age of Comfort by Joan DeJean Age of Comfort, Paperback (November 2013)

"[A] fascinating and carefully researched volume ... This way of looking at history, moving outward from the particulars of everyday life, is particularly thrilling."-Los Angeles Times

Essence of Style by Joan DeJean Essence of Style, Paperback (June 2006)

Writing with great elan, DeJean explains how the glittering world of Louis XIV set the standards of sophistication, style, and glamour that still rule today's lifestyles.

Against Marriage by Joan DeJean Against Marriage, Paperback (January 2003)

In 17th century France, aristocratic women were valued by their families as commodities to be married off in exchange for money, social advantage, or military alliance. The Duchesse de Montpensier was one of the few exceptions, as this collection of her letters demonstrates.

» View all books by Joan DeJean


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