Poetry in 18th-century France

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Sylvain Menant (Université de Paris IV Sorbonne)
Trans. by Síofra Pierse (University College Dublin)Jenny Mander (University of Cambridge)
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Eighteenth-century France witnessed an abundance of poetic creativity that was considerably overshadowed by the subsequent practices of the Romantics, keen to present themselves as the inventors of modernity. Although they were nourished by the works of their predecessors, and often inspired by them, the Romantics insisted on the absolute originality of the poet, whereas the poetry that was composed during the last three reigns of 

Ancien Régime

(Old Regime) France can only be fully appreciated with reference to a sort of collective creativity, whereby features that were common to various works of poetry were considered to be more important than their differences. It is noteworthy that until the very end of the nineteenth century, the educated public continued to read the poetry of the…

3802 words

Citation: Menant, Sylvain. "Poetry in 18th-century France". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 January 2022 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=19636, accessed 26 May 2024.]

19636 Poetry in 18th-century France 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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