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Denis Diderot's 'Rameau's Nephew'

Denis Diderot's 'Rameau's Nephew': A Multi-media Edition

Edited by Marian Hobson
Kate E. Tunstall
Caroline Warman
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Open Book Publishers
Pages: 173
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  • Book Info
    Denis Diderot's 'Rameau's Nephew'
    Book Description:

    In a famous Parisian chess café, a down-and-out, HIM, accosts a former acquaintance, ME, who has made good, more or less. They talk about chess, about genius, about good and evil, about music, they gossip about the society in which they move, one of extreme inequality, of corruption, of envy, and about the circle of hangers-on in which the down-and-out abides. The down-and-out from time to time is possessed with movements almost like spasms, in which he imitates, he gestures, he rants. And towards half past five, when the warning bell of the Opera sounds, they part, going their separate ways. Probably completed in 1772-73, Denis Diderot's Rameau's Nephew fascinated Goethe, Hegel, Engels and Freud in turn, achieving a literary-philosophical status that no other work by Diderot shares. This interactive, multi-media edition offers a brand new translation of Diderot's famous dialogue, and it also gives the reader much more. Portraits and biographies of the numerous individuals mentioned in the text, from minor actresses to senior government officials,enable the reader to see the people Diderot describes, and provide a window onto the complex social and political context that forms the backdrop to the dialogue. Links to musical pieces specially selected by Pascal Duc and performed by students of the Conservatoire nationale de musique, Paris, illuminate the wider musical context of the work, enlarging it far beyond its now widely understood relation to opéra comique.

    eISBN: 978-1-78374-009-3
    Subjects: Philosophy, Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-xviii)
  5. List of Musical Pieces
    (pp. xix-xxiv)
  6. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xxv-xxv)
  7. Preface
    (pp. 1-5)
  8. Rameau’s Nephew
    (pp. 7-90)

    It is a habit of mine to go for a walk in the Palais Royal³ pleasure gardens every afternoon at five, whatever the weather. That’s me you see there, always by myself, daydreaming on d’Argenson’s bench.⁴ I have conversations with myself about politics, love, taste or philosophy. I give in to my mind’s every fancy. I let it be master and allow it to pursue the first idea that comes to it, good or mad, and to behave just like those young libertines of ours we see chasing some flighty, pretty courtesan with bright eyes and a snub nose along...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 91-146)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 147-149)