Cloth $67.00 ISBN: 9780226093116 Published February 2000
Paper $32.00 ISBN: 9780226093123 Published February 2000

In the King's Wake

Post-Absolutist Culture in France

Jay Caplan

In the King's Wake
Bookmark and Share

Jay Caplan

213 pages | 10 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 1999
Cloth $67.00 ISBN: 9780226093116 Published February 2000
Paper $32.00 ISBN: 9780226093123 Published February 2000
Long before the guillotines of the 1789 Revolution brought a grisly political end to the ancien régime, Jay Caplan argues, the culture of absolutism had already perished. In the King's Wake traces the emergence of a post-absolutist culture across a wide range of works and genres: Saint-Simon's memoirs of Louis XIV and the Regency; Voltaire's first tragedy, Oedipe; Watteau's last great painting, L'Enseigne de Gersaint; the plays of Marivaux; and Casanova's History of My Life.

While absolutist culture had focused on value directly represented in people (e.g., those of noble blood) and things (e.g., coins made of precious metals), post-absolutist culture instead explored the capacity of signs to stand for something real (e.g., John Law's banknotes or Marivaux's plays in which actions rather than birth signify nobility). Between the image of the Sun King and visions of the godlike Romantic self, Caplan discovers a post-absolutist France wracked by surprisingly modern conflicts over the true sources of value and legitimacy.
Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction
1. A Post-Absolutist Subject: Saint-Simon
2. "Le Poète Roy": Voltaire's Oedipe
3. The King's Insignia: Watteau, L'Enseigne de Gersaint
4. Love and Speculation: Marivaux
5. Drawing Kings: Casanova and Voltaire
Conclusion
Notes
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style |

Chicago Blog: History

Events in History

Keep Informed

JOURNALs in History