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Voltaire's Correspondence

Digital Readings

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 October 2020

Nicholas Cronk
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
Glenn Roe
Affiliation:
Sorbonne University

Summary

Voltaire's correspondence has been described as his 'greatest masterpiece' – but if it is, it is also his least studied. One of the most prodigious correspondences in Western literature, it poses significant interpretative challenges to the critic and reader alike. Considered individually, the letters present a series of complex, subtle, and playful literary performances; taken together, they constitute a formidable, and even forbidding, ensemble. How can modern readers even attempt to understand such an imposing work? This Element addresses this question through the use of digital reading methods and resources that enhance our understanding of this complex literary object and its relationship to Voltaire's more canonical literary output, and indeed to the Enlightenment world at large. Nicholas Cronk and Glenn Roe provide scholars and students with new pathways into this particular corpus, using tools and approaches that can then be applied to correspondences and life-writing texts in all languages and periods.
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Online ISBN: 9781108866552
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication: 12 November 2020

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