Home » Seducing the Eighteenth-Century French Reader: Reading, Writing, and the Question of Pleasure by Paul J. Young
Seducing the Eighteenth-Century French Reader: Reading, Writing, and the Question of Pleasure Paul J. Young

Seducing the Eighteenth-Century French Reader: Reading, Writing, and the Question of Pleasure

Paul J. Young

Published September 28th 2008
ISBN : 9780754664178
Hardcover
174 pages
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 About the Book 

As he demonstrates that narratives of seduction function as a master plot for French literature in the eighteenth century, Paul Young argues that the prevalence of this trope was a reaction to a dominant cultural discourse that coded the novel andMoreAs he demonstrates that narratives of seduction function as a master plot for French literature in the eighteenth century, Paul Young argues that the prevalence of this trope was a reaction to a dominant cultural discourse that coded the novel and the new practice of solitary reading as dangerous, seductive practices. Situating his study in the context of paintings, educational manuals, and criticism that caution against the act of reading, Young considers both canonical and lesser-known works by authors that include Rousseau, Sade, Bastide, Laclos, Crebillon fils, and the writers of two widely read libertine novels. How these authors responded to a cultural climate that viewed literature, and especially the novel, as seductive, sheds light on the perils and pleasures of authorship, the ways in which texts interact with the larger cultural discourse, and what eighteenth-century texts tell us about the dangers of reading or writing. Ultimately, Young argues, the seduction not in the text, but by the text raises questions about the nature of pleasure in eighteenth-century French literature and culture.