Fénelon in the Enlightenment: Traditions, Adaptations, and Variations

With a preface by Jacques Le Brun

Christoph Schmitt-Maaß,

Fénelon in the Enlightenment: Traditions, Adaptations, and Variations: With a preface by Jacques Le Brun
 
 
François Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon, Archbishop of Cambrai (1651–1715) exerted a considerable influence on the development and spread of the Enlightenment. His most famous work, the Homeric novel Les Aventures de Télémaque, Fils d’Ulysse (1699), composed for the education of his pupil Duc de Bourgogne, was, after the Bible, the most widely read literary work in France throughout the eighteenth century. It was also translated and adapted into many other European languages. And yet oddly enough, the question as to why Fénelon’s ideas resonated over such a wide span of space and time has as yet found no coherent and comprehensive answer. By taking Fénelon’s intellectual influence as a matter of ‘cultural translation’, this anthology traces the reception of Fénelon and his multifaceted writings outside of France, and in doing so aims to enrich not only our understanding of the Enlightenment, but also of the thinker himself.


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