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La Querelle d’Homère dans la presse des Lumières : l’exemple du Nouveau Mercure galant

Abstract : The doctoral thesis is concerned with the reception of the “Querelle d’Homère” in the press of the Enlightenment and focuses on the treatment accorded to it by the Nouveau Mercure galant of Hardouin Le Fèvre de Fontenay. This man of letters succeeded Claude Dufresny and Jean Donneau de Visé as the director of the Mercure for which he was responsible from spring 1714 to autumn 1716. Consequently the “Querelle d’Homère”, which broke out in 1715 after the publication of Houdar de La Motte’s translation of The Iliad and Anne Dacier’s Des causes de la corruption du goût, is at the heart of the 29 editions of the periodical. While Dacier, who also had translated The Iliad and who was convinced of Homer’s genius, tried to persuade her contemporaries of the beauty of the Greek epic; La Motte proposed a rewritten version of The Iliad that respected the taste of his century. This quarrel only lasted for a little more than a year, but many positions for and against Homer were taken and many different fields were concerned, such as the criticism of taste, social and political ideas and the concept of progress.This study however is not inspired by the reader-response criticism of the Constance school, but by discourse analysis. To answer the question to what extent the positions of the Nouveau Mercure galant reflect the opposition of ancient and modern ideas, the discourses in which official, regular and occasional contributors embed themselves are analyzed. Thus, the three parts of the doctoral thesis correspond to the three thematic axes outlined above and underline the complexity of the “Querelle d’Homère”. By also taking into account second-order sources about the Quarrel, it becomes evident that it is naive to speak of a simple duality of ancient and modern ideas. On the one hand, many different positions coexist within the two parties and, on the other, many contributions do not fit into this binary opposition. They present a much more complicated situation which means that this doctoral thesis also is a microhistory of the culture and mentalities of “La France galante” at the end of the reign of Louis XIV.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 12:08:05 PM
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David Reitsam. La Querelle d’Homère dans la presse des Lumières : l’exemple du Nouveau Mercure galant. Littératures. Université de Lorraine; Universität Augsburg, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019LORR0148⟩. ⟨tel-02484355⟩



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