Subscribe to our newsletter
Picture of Interpretation in/of the Seventeenth Century

Interpretation in/of the Seventeenth Century

Editor(s): Pierre Zoberman
Contributors: Pierre Zoberman, Yen-Mai Tran-Gervat, Zavis Suman, Roberto Romangnino, Rosa De Marco, Christine McCall Probes,

Book Description

Interpretation in/of the Seventeenth Century explores interpretation according to, and by, the seventeenth century, namely how intellectuals and officials conceived of interpretation, and how they read their world and its relationship to the past, and of the seventeenth century. As such, the volume examines both temporal relationships, such as current interpretations of the seventeenth century or interpretation of itself and the past by the seventeenth century, and transversal relations, including practices of reading, crossings from one genre to another, and translation. The comparative conception underlying the collection’s three main sections (“Culture and Interpretation”, “Interpretation and Literature”, and “Shifts and Perspectives”) allows for an in-depth examination of what could be meant in seventeenth-century France by interpretation—between exegesis and translation—and what interpretive practices characterized the culture of the period. What may the ceremonies organized on a more or less grandiose scale and with more or less clearly visible programmes by the Crown or various institutions have meant for the organizers and their audiences, given the material and perspectival limitations faced by most of the viewers and participants and the difficulty to read the allegorical-symbolic representations? Science and belief play an important role in deciphering representation: discourses on optics and ghosts stories alike help shed light on the evolution of interpretation, as concept and practice, throughout this period.

Literature, in the modern sense of the word, is given particular attention in the volume. Several chapters examine the connection of literary forms to conceptions of interpretation: how did topical plays, staging contemporary events, help shape the interpretation of current affairs and further political agendas? More generally, how do dramaturgy, theatrical production and acting contribute to an understanding of the ways in which the participants in early modern European culture viewed their own time, and of the ways in which the period can be interpreted today? And can early-modern accounts of literature and society be read as signposts for a modern understanding of the period? To these and other, related, questions, the study of translation and translators in the seventeenth century and of modern translations for audiences outside of France (in particular for Molière), as well as an examination of adaptations of seventeenth-century works for other media today, bring novel perspectives.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-7180-8
ISBN-10: 1-4438-7180-X
Date of Publication: 01/02/2015
Pages / Size: 450 / A5
Price: £57.99


Pierre Zoberman is Professor of Literature at Université Paris 13 SPC, France, and a member of the Centre d’Études et de Recherches Comparatistes at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle SPC. He is the author of two award-winning books, including Les Cérémonies de la parole (1998), has published extensively on 17th-century literature, culture, and social history, ceremonial oratory, and queer rhetoric, and has edited several collections, including Littérature et identités sexuelles (2007); Queer: Écritures de la difference? (2008); Corpographèses. Corps écrits, corps inscrits (2009); Écritures du corps: nouvelles perspectives (2013); and Comparatively Speaking: Gender and Rhetoric (Intertexts, Winter 2014).