Bruna, Giulia Bogliolo. “Disclosing an
Unknown Source of the Eskimo Entry of Diderot & d'Alembert's
Encyclopédie.” Journal of Literature and Art Studies, vol. 9, no. 11, Nov. 2019. doi:10.17265/2159-5836/2019.11.003.
In this brief article, Bruna discusses the contents and source material for the 1755 Encyclopédie entry “Eskimo.” According to Bruna, the article author Jaucourt plagiarizes “Une lettre de Ste Helene, du 30 Octobre 1751” (A letter from Ste Helene, on October 30, 1751) by Mère Marie-Andrée Duplessis de Sainte-Hélène. However, Bruna notes that Jaucort stays true to his typical method of writing: he selects certain sections of various sources to contrast his own article. In the Eskimo entry, Jaucourt characterizes Eskimos as savages and finds evidence from Sainte-Hélène to support that caricature. However, as Bruna points out, Jaucourt omits all parts of the letter that contain any positive aspect of the Eskimos and their lifestyle. Bruna questions Jaucourt’s motives and, after explaining the Eskimo entry and the general Enlightenment ideals regarding liberties, concludes that Jaucourt’s biased Euro-Christian perspective inclined him to view the Eskimos as untamable, uncontrollable animals. She also opens the possibility of a third-party contributor writing under Jaucourt’s name but gives no further evidence of such.
Country of Publication: United States
Main Classification: Plagiarism, Xenophobia
10/4/2020: Created page.