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Denis Diderot (1713-1784)

Related: 1700s - 1700sLiterature - French literature - France - Encyclopedia - enlightenment

Titles: The Indiscreet Jewels (1748) - La Relgieuse () -


Denis Diderot (October 5, 1713 - July 31, 1784) was a French writer and philosopher.

Born in Langres, Champagne, France in 1713, he was a prominent figure in what became known as The Enlightenment, and was the editor-in-chief of the famous Encyclopédie. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis_Diderot [Jan 2005]

L’Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (1751) - Denis Diderot and Jean d’Alembert

L’Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (1751) - Denis Diderot and Jean d’Alembert

Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers ("Encyclopedia, or Reasoned Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts") was an early encyclopedia, published in France beginning in 1751, the final volumes being released in 1772.

From 1782 to 1832 an expanded edition of the work was published in 66 volumes. That work, enormous for the time, occupied a thousand workers in production and 2,250 contributors. The run of the press was 4,250 copies — a ridiculous number for the present but very large for the 18th century where editions rarely exceeded 1,500 copies. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encyclopédie [Sept 2005]

See also: Encyclopedia - 1750s - enlightenment

La Religieuse

(Jacques Rivette, France, 1965) (F) This blissfully domestic scene actually portrays an equally blissful all-Lesbian convent. By its very neutrality, it conveys the "secrecy" of this artist's style. Diderot's anti-clerical classic provides the basis for one of the few and certainly one of the most sophisticated anti-Catholic films yet made.

Banned by the censors, and cause celebre of post-war French cinema, this chilling melodrama is based on Diderot's famous 18th century anti-clerical classic. It traces the life of a young girl forced to take the veil, equating, ironically, the tyranny of sadistic cruelty with that of erotic love; the corruption of the convent with that of the outer world. A calculated artificiality marks the film's progression from austere cruelty to luxuriant decadence. In its relentless portrayal of the doom of the innocent, it becomes a plea for free- dom and tolerance far transcending the church issue. The supreme irony comes with the nun's final "escape" to a hostile world, prostitution, and death. -- Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel

Jacques the Fatalist and His Master (1771-73 (published 1796)) - Denis Diderot

Jacques the Fatalist and His Master (1771-73 (published 1796)) - Denis Diderot [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Jacques the Fatalist is a provocative exploration of the problems of human existence, destiny, and free will. In the introduction to this brilliant translation, David Coward explains the philosophical basis of Diderot's fascination with fate and examines the experimental and influential literary techniques that make Jacques the Fatalist a classic of the Enlightenment.

Two centuries or so before "modern" writers began writing experimental novels, Denis Diderot, the force behind the Encyclopaedia effort, wrote this strange and indeed very "modern" novel in which the author leads a conversation with the reader, asking him where he (or she, of course) would want to go and what to do with the characters and the story. Here we see the author in the very process of creation, exposing his doubts, exploring his options, and playing with the story. --Guillermo Maynez via Amazon.com

Self-reference also occurs in literature when an author refers to his or her work in the context of the work itself. Famous examples include Denis Diderot's Jacques the Fatalist and Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-reference [May 2004]

The Indiscreet Jewels (1748) - Denis Diderot

The Indiscreet Jewels (1748) - Denis Diderot [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Library Journal
Diderot's erotic, subversive first novel, published anonymously in 1748, was a hit at the time, and no wonder: it is an allegory that portrays the king of France, Louis XV, as the sultan Mangogul of the Congo for whose amusement a magic ring is procured that makes women's genitals ("jewels") talk. The sultan's high-principled favorite, Mirzoza (Mme. de Pompadour), disapproves of his prurient curiosity; she foresees, correctly, that the indiscretion of the seraglio's "jewels" will wreck marriages and upset institutions. Clearly, Diderot's tale is more than a romp, as Adam Vartanian's long-winded introduction to this edition belabors; it is a novel of ideas in which "jewels" function as the vehicle of philosophy to enlighten society. Diderot managed his delicate high-wire act between adulation and satire so well that he wasn't thrown in jail until years later. With this new translation--serviceable but at times snagged in anachronisms-- Les bijoux indiscrets begs fresh consideration for curriculums and libraries. - Amy Boaz, "Library Journal" Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. via Amazon.com

see also: 1700s - Denis Diderot - erotic fiction

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