Jean Starobinski is Professor Emeritus of French literature at the University of Geneva. Blessings in Disguise and Largesse are among his works in English. A translation of his recent Action et réaction is to appear later this year. (May 2003)


A Letter from Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The remarkable text by Rousseau that appears below has been published before. But it is a forgotten text, here translated for the first time into English. It first appeared in Georges Streckeisen-Moultou’s 1861 collection Oeuvres et correspondance inédites de J.-J. Rousseau, based on a copy made by Reverend Paul Moultou. …

Rousseau and Revolution

On Jean-Jacques Rousseau Considered as One of the First Authors of the Revolution

by James Swenson

La Politique de la Terreur: Essai sur la violence révolutionnaire, 1789–1794

by Patrice Gueniffey
After taking power by his coup d’état of 19 Brumaire (November 9, 1799), General Napoleon Bonaparte made no attempt to soften his sarcasm about the “principles of liberty” that had been promulgated by the Revolution. According to the memoirs of Madame de Staël: One bizarre thing was his way of …

Rousseau in the Revolution

Rousseau and the Republic of Virtue: The Language of Politics in the French Revolution

by Carol Blum

A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution

edited by François Furet, edited by Mona Ozouf
Rousseau was the great critic of his own society and he made his case against it brilliantly and provocatively. In place of the evil that he denounced he put forward his vision of a just society and a happier world with an eloquence admired even by his opponents. He conquered …

Burying the Dead

The Architecture of Death: The Transformation of the Cemetery in Eighteenth-Century Paris

by Richard A. Etlin
Mankind is a peculiar species in that the essential moments in our biological development are all given meaning and form by culture. Being born, growing up, eating, coming of age, pairing off, growing old, being sick, and dying—all are events or successive stages in natural life that have to be …

Gazing at Death

The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception

by Michel Foucault, translated by A.M. Sheridan Smith
The Birth of the Clinic is a description of the changes in the language of medicine, particularly French medicine, between 1794 and 1820. It is therefore in the first place a work of history, concerned with a specific problem during a specific period. But it is also an experiment in …

The Dominant Doctor

Galenism: Rise and Decline of a Medical Philosophy

by Owsei Temkin
Galen of Pergamum elaborated his medical philosophy during the second half of the second century AD, and was the dominant influence on medical thinking until the eighteenth. He was at the same time an experimental scientist, a medical practitioner, and a commentator. Before being doctor to the emperors in Rome, …