L'ENTHOUSIASME CHEZ DIDEROT ET MADAME DE STAEL. (FRENCH TEXT)

MICHELE ODETTE NEWMAN, Fordham University

Abstract

This study explores some of the rapports et similarities that emerge from a comparison between Diderot and Mme de Stael.^ The opening chapters trace the history of their early meetings, and describe the friendship that linked the philosopher to the mother of Mme de Stael, Mme Necker. A brief survey of their adolescence and the description of their personalities reveal parallel episodes and interests, as well as similar qualities of character.^ Their works provide a wide choice of topics for comparisons. This study has focussed on three major areas, each one the subject of a chapter. The concepts of Taste and Genius are linked in the minds of the two authors, and the chapter bearing the title "Gout et Genie" shows the evolution of the attitude of the XVIIIth century in relation to them, Diderot being very close to the liberalization of criteria that Mme de Stael, as a preromantist, ushers in. She appears as an important theoretician of romanticism as well as a disciple of the Diderot of the "critique des beautes".^ The second theme chosen for this research is the esthetic/ethic/moralist approach they both illustrate in their works of fiction, and the deep affinities that manifest themselves despite formal differences.^ The last chapter explores the concept of "Enthousiasme", a significant and constant element in their perception of the creative process as well as in their philosophy of life. ^

Subject Area

Romance literature

Recommended Citation

NEWMAN, MICHELE ODETTE, "L'ENTHOUSIASME CHEZ DIDEROT ET MADAME DE STAEL. (FRENCH TEXT)" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8506349.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8506349

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