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By François de La Rochefoucauld, E.H. Blackmore, A.M. Blackmore, Francine Giguère

This is often the fullest selection of los angeles Rochefoucauld's writings ever released in English, and comprises the 1st whole translation of the Miscellaneous Reflections. A desk of different maxim numbers and an index of issues support the reader to find any maxim speedy. - ;'Our virtues are, in most cases, basically vices in disguise.'. Deceptively short and insidiously effortless to learn, los angeles Rochefoucauld's wise, unflattering Read more...

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Deceptively short and insidiously effortless to learn, los angeles Rochefoucauld's clever analyses of human behaviour have prompted writers, thinkers, and public figures as a number of as Voltaire, Proust, de Gaulle, Read more...

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Françoise Charles-Daubert, in Les xxx Introduction Libertins érudits en France au XVIIe siècle (Paris, ), –, finds among the libertin writers a ‘decisive break with the theological conception of man, the world, and God’, characterized by an intellectual elitism (contempt for the unthinking multitude), an independent morality (typically drawn from nature rather than from religious tradition), and an anti-theological critical stance. Not all scholars would agree with all parts of this summary, but it may perhaps provide a rough framework within which such writers as Gassendi, Bayle, Cyrano de Bergerac, Tristan l’Hermite, and Fontenelle may be viewed.

But in most cases there is nothing uniquely Augustinian or uniquely libertin about the alleged parallel; it has its roots not only in one or other of those camps, but more generally in the Western cultural heritage––the ultimate source, most often, being the Hebrew or Greek Scriptures. To demonstrate that La Rochefoucauld was distinctively Augustinian, or distinctively libertin, we would need to cite his views on some point where the two parties disagreed––and this we cannot do. Where there are few theological statements of any kind, there are likely to be even fewer partisan ones, and La Rochefoucauld never touches on the points where a typical Augustinian and a typical libertin would differ from each other––or from Scripture.

Some of La Rochefoucauld’s first readers already construed his maxims in a Jansenist sense. An unknown correspondent wrote to Madame de Schomberg in  that the book was ‘a very powerful and ingenious satire on the corruption of nature by original sin . . and on the malignity of the human spirit, which corrupts everything when it acts by itself without the Spirit of God. . ’ That, or something like it, is probably the majority opinion among present-day French La Rochefoucauld scholars, especially in the wake of Jean Lafond’s magisterial book La Rochefoucauld: Augustinisme et littérature (Paris, ), though within this camp there are significant points of disagreement: Laurence Plazenet, for instance, sees La Rochefoucauld as a much more thoroughgoing Augustinian than does Lafond.

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