The Dream of an Absolute Language: Emanuel Swedenborg and French Literary Culture

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SUNY Press, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 332 pages
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Taking as its point of departure the two poems, Correspondances by Baudelaire and Les correspondances by Alphonse-Louis Constant, The Dream of an Absolute Language: Emanuel Swedenborg and French Literary Culture traces the reception and popularization of several key Swedenborgian doctrines in late-eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French literature and popular culture, notably the doctrine of correspondences. Contrary to what Michel Foucault argued in his early Les mots et les choses, in nineteenth-century France, the word correspondences does not denote a break with representation, at least as it was used by nineteenth-century French writers: rather it is intimately bound up with the taxonomic structures of natural history and also with the desire to understand the social world in terms of an ordered and controllable totality. Because it crops up in texts we now classify as canonical and also those outside the canon, and because it is so clearly related to notions of literary structure and effect, the word correspondences and its transformations in late-eighteenth- and nineteenth-century France offers a vantage point for discerning how artists and writers defined their work both within and against a context of cultures defined as elite, popular, and even ideological."
 

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Contents

V
19
VII
21
VIII
24
IX
27
X
31
XI
37
XII
55
XIII
58
XXV
141
XXVI
145
XXVII
147
XXIX
148
XXX
152
XXXI
156
XXXII
194
XXXIII
217

XIV
68
XV
91
XVI
93
XVII
107
XIX
109
XX
112
XXI
116
XXII
121
XXIII
123
XXIV
135
XXXIV
220
XXXV
223
XXXVI
239
XXXVII
249
XXXVIII
257
XXXIX
261
XL
301
XLI
321
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About the author (1996)

Lynn R. Wilkinson is Assistant Professor of Scandinavian and Comparative Literature at the University of Texas, Austin.

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