Chapter

Reading for Pleasure in the French Enlightenment: the Self-possessed Reader and the Decline of Voluptas

Natania Meeker

in Voluptuous Philosophy

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780823226962
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240944 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823226962.003.0003
Reading for Pleasure in the French Enlightenment: the Self-possessed Reader and the Decline of Voluptas

Show Summary Details

Preview

Increasingly, attempts both to legitimate sensory pleasure, as one means of apprehending the world, and to regulate the engagement of readers with the written word, as a technique for shaping human subjectivity, come to revolve around the notion of self-possession. The model of self-possessed reader—as opposed to that of the Lucretian voluptuary—is one that explicitly excludes voluptas as the proper outcome of reflection and casts suspicion on the power of figura to intervene significantly in the experience of the reading subject. While self-possessed readers may react with enjoyment to a text, they are no longer susceptible to contagious contamination by voluptuous delight.

Keywords: reading; French Enlightenment; Voluptas; self-possessed reader; figura

Chapter.  12962 words. 

Subjects: Literature

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Fordham University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.