Downs, John A. “The Treatment of
German Literature in the ‘Encyclopédie.’” Studies in Philology, vol. 54, no. 4, University of North Carolina Press, 1957, pp. 564–72. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/4173218.
This article examines the influence and appearance of German literature in the Encyclopédie while also attempting to assess its availability to the public of “literate French.” Downs claims that German literature was quite accessible to the French public thanks to the increase in emmigrants from Germany, led by Frédéric-Melchior Grimm, Diderot’s close friend and contributor to the Encyclopédie, who were interested in France’s increasing appreciation for Germany. In the Encyclopédie itself, Downs notices that most references to German scholarship are to scientists and philosophers, and that the Chevalier de Jaucourt specifically refers to and quotes from German scholars such as Leibniz, Wolf, and Kepler. Downs provides direct examples of each. He takes this as evidence that the Encyclopedists were well aware of the scholarship occurring in Germany yet is perplexed that German literature in and of itself is not present (with the exception of a few remarks on birth and death dates of authors), especially considering the significant amount of attention to German science.
Country of Publication: United States
Main Classification: German Literature
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