Dream of an Absolute Language, The: Emanuel Swedenborg and French Literary Culture

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State University of New York Press, Jan 1, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 332 pages
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Taking as its point of departure the two poems, Correspondances by Baudelaire and Les correspondances by Alphonse-Louis Constant, The Dream of an Absolute Language: Emanuel Swedenborg and French Literary Culture traces the reception and popularization of several key Swedenborgian doctrines in late-eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French literature and popular culture, notably the doctrine of correspondences. Contrary to what Michel Foucault argued in his early Les mots et les choses, in nineteenth-century France, the word correspondences does not denote a break with representation, at least as it was used by nineteenth-century French writers: rather it is intimately bound up with the taxonomic structures of natural history and also with the desire to understand the social world in terms of an ordered and controllable totality. Because it crops up in texts we now classify as canonical and also those outside the canon, and because it is so clearly related to notions of literary structure and effect, the word correspondences and its transformations in late-eighteenth- and nineteenth-century France offers a vantage point for discerning how artists and writers defined their work both within and against a context of cultures defined as elite, popular, and even ideological.

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Swedenborg French Culture and the Dream of an Absolute
Swedenborgianism Popular Culture and the Ends of
Politics Magic and Language Swedenborgianism in
Echoes of Les correspondances in ConstantLévis prose
The Preface to the 1861 Edition
Chapter TWO Swedenborgs Correspondences and the Cultures of
The Journal of 174344
The Word Represent in the Journal of 174344
Who Has the Word? Swedenborgianism and Popular
Fictions of Wholeness Swedenborgianism and the French Canon
Baudelaires Correspondences Language Censorship
Baudelaires Correspondances and ConstantLevis Les
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About the author (1996)

Lynn R. Wilkinson is Assistant Professor of Scandinavian and Comparative Literature at the University of Texas, Austin.

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