Ancient or Modern? Bérardier de Bataut's Essai sur le récit (1776)

Abstract : When François-Joseph Bérardier de Bataut first published his Essai sur le récit, ou entretiens sur la manière de raconter in 1776, the book received enthusiastic reviews and was praised for being an instructive account of the art of storytelling. This fact has not, however, prevented the book from being all but forgotten today. The present contribution proposes an examination of this text, aiming to reflect on the reasons for the Essai sur le récit's oblivion and to demonstrate the various respects in which this oblivion appears to be unjustified. It does so by showing that while the Essai sur le récit remains strongly influenced by the classicist period, especially in the range of authors quoted and in some of the core values attributed to narrative, it also contains quite a few more innovative aspects, especially in the very definition of narrative given and in the treatment of narrative circumstances. Attention to Bérardier's text thus promises to contribute to a growing interest in the persistence of the classical heritage during the Age of Enlightenment, at the same time as it proves relevant to our understanding of the poetics of narrative in the French eighteenth century.
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Christof Schöch. Ancient or Modern? Bérardier de Bataut's Essai sur le récit (1776). Romance Studies, Maney Publishing, 2012, 30 (1), pp.25-35. ⟨10.1179/174581512X13221535571777⟩. ⟨halshs-00859856⟩

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