OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Persian Letters

ISBN : 9780192806352

参考価格(税込): 
¥2,002
著者: 
Charles de Secondat,Baron de Montesquieu; Margaret Mauldon; Andrew Kahn
ページ
320 ページ
フォーマット
Paperback
サイズ
129 x 196 mm
刊行日
2008年04月
シリーズ
Oxford World's Classics
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印刷

Oh! Monsieur is Persian? That's most extraordinary! How can someone be Persian?' Two Persian travellers, Usbek and Rica, arrive in Paris just before the death of Louis XIV and in time to witness the hedonism and financial crash of the Regency. In their letters home they report on visits to the theatre and scientific societies, and observe the manners and flirtations of polite society, the structures of power and the hypocrisy of religion. Irony and bitter satire mark their comparison of East and West and their quest for understanding. Unsettling news from Persia concerning the female world of the harem intrudes on their new identities and provides a suspenseful plot of erotic jealousy and passion. This pioneering epistolary novel and work of travel-writing opened the world of the West to its oriental visitors and the Orient to its Western readers. This is the first English translation based on the original text, revealing this lively work as Montesquieu first intended. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. _x000D_

著者について: 

Translated by Margaret Mauldon, Freelance translator, and Edited by Andrew Kahn, Fellow and Tutor in Russian, St Edmund Hall, and University Lecturer in Russian, University of Oxford

Two Persian travellers, Usbek and Rica, arrive in Paris just before the death of Louis XIV and in time to witness the hedonism and financial crash of the Regency.

In their letters home they report on visits to the theatre and scientific societies, and observe the manners and flirtations of polite society, the structures of power and the hypocrisy of religion.

Irony and bitter satire mark their comparison of East and West and their quest for understanding. Unsettling news from Persia concerning the female world of the harem intrudes on their new identities and provides a suspenseful plot of erotic jealousy and passion.

Click on the links below to listen to an audio guide to Persian Letters by Andrew Kahn of St Edmund Hall, Oxford, who provided the introduction and notes for the new translation of the novel by Margaret Mauldon in Oxford World’s Classics.

A world of scepticism
By the early eighteenth century two revolutionary theories - Newtonianism and Cartesianism - were fuelling radical thinking about the authority of the Church and the monarchy.
Listen to the world Montesquieu was born into [2:03]

Montesquieu was born in 1689 to a landed family in Bordeaux.
The man and his milieu [3:30]

The death of Louis XIV in 1714 ushered in the Regency, a new era of hedonism and also of intellectual tolerance.
Understand how this new period made possible a whole range of intellectual speculation and enquiry [3:24]

Inspiration and publication
Contemporary travellers’ tales and The Thousand and One Nights are among the possible inspirations for Persian Letters. But Montesquieu also used the conceit of Persian travellers encountering French culture to illuminate concerns that interested him in his own society.
Montesquieu’s aims and inspirations [5:34]

Though a great French classic, Persian Letters was not originally published in France. It first appeared anonymously in Holland in 1721.
Discover why Montesquieu thought it too risky to bring the book out in his native country and who the book’s first readers were [5:00]

Giving ideas a form
Persian Letters, written as an epistolary novel, is highly innovative in its form. The genre allowed Montesquieu both to develop a gripping plot and also to explore intellectual ideas.
Andrew Kahn how this literary text functions [6:16]

Many of the questions which Montesquieu ponders in Persian Letters remain topical today. These include questions of population control, the regulation of society, whether marriage is an outmoded institution and whether is it right to control our appetites.
Understand how Montesquieu invites readers to think about these questions for themselves without ever preaching to them [5:44]

Enduring appeal
Persian Letters was a success from the start and became the first great popular work of the European Enlightenment.
Learn more about the enduring influence of Montesquieu’s spirit of rational enquiry and scepticism [3:25]

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