Proust, Jacques. “La documentation technique
de Diderot dans l’“Encyclopédie”.” Revue d’Histoire littéraire de la France, vol. 57, no. 3, Presses Universitaires de France, 1957, pp. 335-52. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/40521571.
In this article, Jacques Proust engages in the discussion of the accusations of plagiarism between the Encyclopédie plates the those of the Academy of Sciences’ Descriptions des arts et métiers but also describes Diderot’s collection of source material for the textual articles. Proust’s first section details Diderot’s method of writing articles and the wide variety of articles, journals, and other dictionaries that he had at his disposal. This section also includes specific examples demonstrating how Diderot compiled many of his articles; Proust provides specific Encyclopédie articles and discusses the sources that Diderot likely used to write them. The second part of the article contains information on the source material for the plates, namely, the Descriptions. Proust’s main argument is similar to that of George Huard’s (1951): in order to properly investigate the plagiarism in the plates, one must not compare the published academic plates with the published Encyclopédie plates, but instead compare the articles and plates of the Encyclopédie with what Proust names the “proofs” of the Descriptions. Proust recounts the narrative of the accusations of plagiarism (from Élie Fréron and Pierre Patte) and proceeds to adopt his method of comparison. He provides several examples of instances where the Encyclopédie articles’ plate references do not completely match up with the figures in the published plates, but they do match – nearly perfectly – with the Academy’s original plates. According to Proust, these similarities indicate that the accusations have merit; however, the plagiarism that did occur was not as blatant or common as Patte and Fréron have claimed.
Country of Publication: France
Main Classification: Plagiarism, Source Material
5/26/2021: Created page.