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By associating various approaches (e.g. linguistics, and genetics, as well as epistemocritical, intertextual and inter-aesthetic theories), the works published in this review oppose discourse and representation by questioning the relationship between literature and the arts to other knowledge systems coming from the social sciences as well as material or natural sciences. Individual volumes of the review center around either a certain discipline or particular question while others are transversal and cover several disciplines. Articles may also address the process of creation and aesthetics or center around works themselves, while mobilizing various analytical methods.

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17 | 2022
Lire les savoirs dans les recueils épistolaires d’Ancien Régime (XVIe-XVIIe siècles)

Epistolary Collections as sources of knowledge (16th-17th centuries)
Edited by Suzanne Duval and Cécile Lignereux
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Credits: Domaine public

Why were collections of letters read under the Ancien Régime? Those books and manuscripts, whose composition was rarely chronological and whose contents were at times apocryphal, follow a logic that greatly differs from that which one might associate with published correspondence. The present volume demonstrates that their didactic aim can partly account for their popularity amongst contemporary readers. In their respective essays, the eight contributors of the volume study the role which three areas of knowledge – humanist erudition, epistolography and history – played in the make-up of epistolary collections dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. Their approach, which is closely involved with the materiality of the texts in hand, brings to light the knowledge and representations at stake in those sources with a view to finding order, unity and meaning in them.

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