Furetière's Roman bourgeois and the Problem of Exchange
Titular Economies

Craig Moyes

Research Monographs in French Studies 34

Legenda

21 December 2012  •  168pp

ISBN: 978-1-907747-99-1 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-351192-91-0 (Taylor & Francis ebook)

EnlightenmentFrenchHistoryFiction


‘If Furetière (1619-1688) hadn’t been friends with Racine and Boileau, if he hadn’t been famous for his Dictionary and for his battle with the Académie Française, it is unlikely that we would still be speaking of the Roman bourgeois (1666). Its qualities are decidedly few. One cannot even say in its favour that it bears witness to a period and a moment in our literary history.’ So writes Antoine Adam in his magisterial history of 17th-century French literature. But whatever one might feel about the aesthetic value of the Roman bourgeois - and following Adam it is usually classified as a precocious though failed example of narrative realism, sadly out of step with the classicism of its time - can we really say that it bears no witness to its period? Craig Moyes shows on the contrary how, within the disarticulated narrative of the Roman bourgeois, Furetière - the titular abbot, the sitting academician, the secret lexicographer, the experimental novelist - was uniquely placed to explore a changing literary economy marked most spectacularly by the trial of Nicolas Fouquet (1661-1664), the decline of aristocratic largesse, and the subsequent centralization of artistic patronage around the personal reign of Louis XIV and the new administration of Colbert.

Craig Moyes is a lecturer in French at King’s College London.

Reviews:

  • ‘Although this highlighting of the connection between Le Roman bourgeois and the Dictionnaire universel is not new, it provides a stream of stimulating insights, taking the argument far beyond the intertextuality that is usually the limit of critical concern in this area. A chapter on ‘Numismatics’, for instance, moves easily from Furetière’s satire of bourgeois marriage as a model of social and financial exchange, encapsulated in the ‘Tariffe des partis sortables’, by way of the décri of monetary (but also literary) value, to the linguistic ‘gold standard’ that the Académie intended to establish with its dictionary, so alien to Furetière’s own aims.’ — Mark Bannister, French Studies 68.3, July 2014, 394-96
  • ‘L’intérêt de cet essai de critique littéraire ne se situe, en effet, non seulement dans sa lecture minutieuse, singulière, souvent ingénieuse du Roman bourgeois dont il souligne bien les pièges et les passionnants replis, mais aussi dans les multiples approches critiques employées tout au long de l’ouvrage.’ — Jean-Alexandre Perras, H-France 14, December 2014, 199

Bibliography entry:

Moyes, Craig, Furetière's Roman bourgeois and the Problem of Exchange: Titular Economies, Research Monographs in French Studies, 34 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2012)

First footnote reference: 35 Craig Moyes, Furetière's Roman bourgeois and the Problem of Exchange: Titular Economies, Research Monographs in French Studies, 34 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2012), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Moyes, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Moyes, Craig. 2012. Furetière's Roman bourgeois and the Problem of Exchange: Titular Economies, Research Monographs in French Studies, 34 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Moyes 2012: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Moyes 2012: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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