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The City in French Writing/Ecrire La Ville Au Dix-huitieme Siecle

Eighteenth-Century Experience

The city intrigues and fascinates in every era. In this book, the author explores images of urban life and the city as depicted in 18th-century French writings, with particular reference to Paris, Geneva and the utopian ideal. The 18th-century French city posed particular challenges to writer and citizen alike, presenting possibilities and pitfalls specific to the pre-Revolutionary decades. In contrast to previous studies of the beautiful or of the imaginary city, these essays in this collection consider everyday life on the streets of the metropolis, providing an outlook that is novel and markedly distinct. Most striking is the dramatic change in focus between the early and late decades of this troubled century. Initially, the city can be construed as a space which allows individuals to evolve and to flourish. Later in the century, the city is depicted textually as being unstable, in both moral and civic terms. In a stark transition, the city thus evolves from a place of great potential into a space of real danger, teetering on the verge of revolutionary chaos.

© 2004

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Urban mobility - descript and non-descript in La Vie de Marianne and Le Paysan Parvenu, Will McMorran "Du Fouet a la Plume" - coaches and coachmen in L’Histoire de Guillaume, Cocher, John P. Greene Le Monde Marginal du Chevalier des Grieux et Manon Lescaut, Josephine Grieder Paris ou l’Education du Lecteur, Ioana Galleron Marasescu. Part 2 Moral fragility - enforceable daily life - regulating the ideal city in the 18th-century French Utopia, Anne Taylor restif de la Bretonne’s Les Nuits de Paris - a very urban promenade solitaire, Siofra Pierse representing morals - the Palais Royal "Capitale de Paris" Lana Asfour Geneve au Dix-Huitieme Siecle - de la Cite de Calvin au Foyer des Lumieres, Graham Gargett.

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