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Subjectivity and Subjugation in Seventeenth-Century Drama and Prose
The Family Romance of French Classicism


Part of Cambridge Studies in French

  • Date Published: December 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521032308

£ 27.99

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Greenberg is well known in his field; his previous book in our series has received many highly favourable reviews
    • Psychoanalytic and feminist aspects of the book should appeal to literary scholars beyond just seventeenth-century French
    • The book also has a strong cultural dimension, setting the literary works in the context of ideology, politics and sexuality
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521032308
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 215 x 139 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.34kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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

  • Author

    Mitchell Greenberg, Cornell University, New York
    Mitchell Greenberg is Goldwin Smith Professor of Romance Studies at Cornell University. He is the author of several books on seventeenth-century French literature and culture. Greenberg uses contemporary critical theories, particularly Freudian and post-Freudian approaches, in the interpretation of early modern texts.

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