Philosophy's Turn

Larry F. Norman

in The Shock of the Ancient

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780226591483
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226591506 | DOI:
Philosophy's Turn

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In his 1687 reply to Perrault's Modern manifesto, Longepierre makes many concessions. Indeed, he concedes the advantage to modernity in all domains except one: the arts of language. When the Discours turns to the delicate subject of the current king's standing in comparison to the great ages of antiquity, Longepierre prudently avoids belittling as inferior the modern writers whom Louis XIV himself has patronized, and who represent his personal stake in history's ongoing contest for cultural supremacy. Instead, genuflecting before royal glory, Longepierre encourages the monarch to demonstrate once again his famed magnanimity by granting the prize, in this lone domain, to the humbled past. After all, Louis possesses a surfeit of superiority; if anything, he suffers from an embarrassment of prizes and palms.

Keywords: Longepierre; modernity; arts of language; Discours; cultural supremacy; antiquity

Chapter.  13766 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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