Voltaire's "Racine": the paradoxes of a transformation

Campbell, J. (2009) Voltaire's "Racine": the paradoxes of a transformation. Modern Language Review, 104(4), pp. 962-975.

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Abstract

This article highlights some paradoxical aspects of Voltaire's admiration for Racine. He paid little attention to Racine's plays as dramatic entities, followed received opinions, and made many unfavourable judgements, especially concerning Racine's mix of tragedy and galanterie. What he idolized was Racine's use of language and his poetic skill. He thus removed Racine's tragedies from the contingencies of the theatre, and transformed them into an eighteenth-century linguistic and cultural ideal that he used for polemical purposes in a war against Shakespeare and encroaching barbarism, leading the Romantics subsequently to reject the `Racine' he had been so influential in creating.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Due to publisher embargo the full text of this article is not available until October 2011.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Campbell, Professor John
Authors: Campbell, J.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > French
Journal Name:Modern Language Review
Publisher:Modern Languages Research Association
ISSN:0026-7937
Published Online:01 October 2009
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2009 Modern Languages Research Association
First Published:First published in Modern Language Review104(4):962-975
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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