All five of the great philosopher and encyclopedist's (1713-1784) quite remarkable short stories, one or two of which have never been translated before, assembled and translated into English by P.N. Furbank. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
"It's a pleasure to become acquainted with French writer Denis Diderot (1713-84) and to have the experience of reading his short fiction, which was not widely read during his lifetime. This collection of three stories is preceded by an excellent introduction to help the contemporary reader understand the author's intent. Diderot's writing was experimental (he was, after all, a philosopher and encyclopedist), and in This Is Not a Story he explores the tension between the "warm" and the "cold," between the decency of the man of goodwill and the ruthlessness of genius. The third story in this trilogy must be read in order to find the moral and secret purpose underlying all three and to better understand what motivated Diderot to employ fiction as he did. Balzac thought Diderot's writing to be "one of the grandest fragments of the history of the human heart that sweated truth in every sentence." ~--Theresa Ducato"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"After reading the encyclopedist's collected stories, one only wonders why the French Revolution didn't happen earlier. Written between 1770 and 1772, these five stories reveal strains in prevailing attitudes toward religion, law and society. The first three works--``This Is Not a Story,'' ``On the Inconsistency of Public Opinion'' and ``Supplement to Bougainville's Voyage ''--form a trilogy in which two interlocutors recount examples of the destructiveness of the monogamy and jealousy of ``civilized'' sexual mores, contrasting them to the healthier erotic dealings of that favorite French model for the ``natural man,'' the Tahitian. In ``The Two Friends from Bourbonne'' and ``Conversation of a Father with His Children,'' Diderot pits sens commun , often portrayed as casuistry, against the more natural sens propre . Furbank, currently working on a biography of Diderot, has written a succinct and informative introduction in which he positions Diderot (1713-1784) as an heir to both the French philosophes and the English novelists Richardson and Sterne (whom Diderot read in the original) and as a forebear of Goethe and Schiller. Like the stories, it offers a view from the crossroads of one of the most fertile periods in Western culture. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
|| Columbia :University of Missouri Press,1991
|| Short stories.
Furbank, P. N.
(Philip Nicholas), 1920-2014.
Stories translated from the French.
viii, 166 pages ; 21 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 161-166).
||0826208150 (alk. paper)