Voltaire | Critical Essay by Karen O'Brien

This literature criticism consists of approximately 57 pages of analysis & critique of Voltaire.
This section contains 16,858 words
(approx. 57 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Karen O'Brien

Critical Essay by Karen O'Brien

SOURCE: O'Brien, Karen. “Voltaire's Neoclassical Poetics of History.” In Narratives of Enlightenment: Cosmopolitan History from Voltaire to Gibbon, pp. 21-55. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

In the following essay, O'Brien surveys Voltaire's histories, culminating in a study of the Essai sur les moers. O'Brien situates Voltaire in the early Enlightenment debates about the value and accuracy of history, suggesting that Voltaire used literary techniques to revive the status of history as a serious genre.

Before his apotheosis as the personification of the Enlightenment, Voltaire was known to French, British and American readers, perhaps primarily, as a historian of France and the world.1 Before he became demonised, in nineteenth-century eyes, as the prophet of atheism, Voltaire's histories were perused by appreciative and unperturbed readers throughout the continent and its colonies.2 Voltaire's histories have not recovered today...

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This section contains 16,858 words
(approx. 57 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Karen O'Brien
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