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Subjectivity and Subjugation in Seventeenth-Century Drama and Prose: The Family Romance of French Classicism: 36 (Cambridge Studies in French, Series Number 36)

Subjectivity and Subjugation in Seventeenth-Century Drama and Prose: The Family Romance of French Classicism: 36 (Cambridge Studies in French, Series Number 36)

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Mitchell Greenberg
Cambridge University Press, 9/25/1992
EAN 9780521412933, ISBN10: 0521412935

Hardcover, 256 pages, 21.6 x 14 x 1.9 cm
Language: English

This 1992 book analyses the relation between an emergent modern subjectivity in seventeenth-century French literature, particularly in dramatic works, and the contemporaneous evolution of the absolutist state. It shows how major writers of the Classical period (Corneille, Racine, Moliere, Lafayette) elaborate a new subject in and through their representations of the family, and argues that the family serves as the mediating locus of a patriarchal ideology of sexual and political containment. Most importantly, it asks why the theatre became the privileged form of representation in this state, and why this theatre concentrates almost exclusively on family conflict. Professor Greenberg argues that the narrative of oedipal sexuality and subjugation central to this new literary canon reflected the conflicting social, political and economic forces that were shifting European society away from the universe of the Renaissance and guiding it towards the 'transparency' of Classical representation.

Preface
Introduction
1. L'Astrée and androgyny
2. The grateful dead
Corneille's tragedy and the subject of history
3. Passion play
Jeanne des Anges, devils, hysteria and the incorporation of the classical subject
4. Rodogune
sons and lovers
5. Molière's Tartuffe and the scandal of insight
6. Racine's children
7. 'Visions are seldom all they seem'
La Princesse de Clèves and the end of Classical illusions
Notes
Index.

"...both by the depth and brilliance of his perceptions and the clarity and elegance of his formulations, Mitchell Greenberg has made, with this work, a major contribution to seventeenth-century French studies." Ralph Albanese, Jr., L'Esprit Créateur