Politeness and Its Discontents
Problems in French Classical Culture
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Politeness and Its Discontents by Peter France
Book DescriptionThis is a 1992 study of writing of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, mainly in France, but also in Britain and Russia. Its focus is on the establishing and questioning of rational, 'civilized' norms of 'politeness', which in the ancien regime meant not just polite manners, but a certain ideal of society and culture. Within this general context, a series of familiar oppositions, between polite and rude, tame and wild, urban(e) and rustic, elite and popular, adult and child, reason and unreason, gives the initial impetus to enquiries which often show how these opposites interpenetrate, how hierarchies are reversed, and how compromises are sought. Polite society, like polite literature, needs and desires its opposite. The ideal is often the meeting of garden and wilderness, where the savage encounters the civilized and gifts are exchanged. Professor France points to the centrality, but also the vulnerability, in classical culture, of the ideal of 'politeness', and his discussion embraces revolutionary eloquence and enlightened primitivism, the value of hyperbole, and the essay as a form of polite sociability.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521029865
(216mm x 138mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 2-Nov-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Peter France
Half-Light & Other Poems, Paperback (February 2015)
Half-Light & Other Poems brings together the most important and enduring poems by this neglected writer, one of Russia's great 19th century poets. In a new translation by Peter France, the philosophical, social and literary struggles of Russia under Tsar Nicholas I are brought to vivid life.
Poems of Osip Mandelstam, Paperback (June 2014)
Proudly part of the New Directions Poetry Pamphlets, a collection of Russian masterpieces
After Lermontov, Paperback (April 2014)View all books by Peter France
Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841) is best known to Anglophone readers as the author of A Hero of Our Time, whereas among Russian readers his poetry is equally cherished. Lermontov was of Scottish descent, and this bilingual volume celebrates his bicentenary with new translations by 14 translator-poets, mostly Scottish.
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