Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
The Attraction of the Contrary

The Attraction of the Contrary
Essays on the Literature of the French Enlightenment


  • Date Published: October 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521159005

£ 23.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • The essays in this 1987 volume are concerned with ideas of contrarity and other kinds of polar opposition in French literature of the eighteenth century. Originally these ideas were merely part of an impulse to undermine the establishment, but as the century progressed the desire to invert social values and question accepted norms merged with the main groundswell of the age to form part of the movement of Revolution. Professor Rex considers some of the major writers of the period: Diderot, Rousseau, Voltaire, and Beaumarchais. He also explores minor genres such as opéras comiques, theatrical parodies, and erotic or pornographic pieces; these have been largely forgotten, but in their time they imbued the creative life of the era with vitality. In treating the literature in relation to the other arts, especially painting and music, these essays will be of interest to scholars of all aspects of eighteenth-century French culture.

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521159005
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    1. Manon's hidden motives
    2. Three literary approaches to the art of love
    3. Inversions and subversions in the théâtre de la foire, or, the end of Piron's Arlequin-Deucalion
    4. Crispin's inventions
    5. On Voltaire's Mérope
    6. The figure of music in the frontispiece of Diderot's Encyclopédie
    7. Secrets from Suzanne: the tangled motives of La Religieuse
    8. A unique and forgotten opera libretto
    9. The demise of classical tragedy in France
    10. The Marriage of Figaro
    11. Deucalion's last eighteenth-century appearance

  • Resources for

    The Attraction of the Contrary

    Walter E. Rex

    Find resources associated with this title

    Type Name Unlocked * Format Size

    Showing of

    Back to top

    This title is supported by one or more locked resources. Access to locked resources is granted exclusively by Cambridge University Press to lecturers whose faculty status has been verified. To gain access to locked resources, lecturers should sign in to or register for a Cambridge user account.

    Please use locked resources responsibly and exercise your professional discretion when choosing how you share these materials with your students. Other lecturers may wish to use locked resources for assessment purposes and their usefulness is undermined when the source files (for example, solution manuals or test banks) are shared online or via social networks.

    Supplementary resources are subject to copyright. Lecturers are permitted to view, print or download these resources for use in their teaching, but may not change them or use them for commercial gain.

    If you are having problems accessing these resources please contact

  • Author

    Walter E. Rex

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.