The Art of Instruction

Essays on Pedagogy and Literature in 17th-Century France


The Art of Instruction: Essays on Pedagogy and Literature in 17th-Century France aims to add a new dimension to the scholarly discussion on how culture is inculcated by focusing on the interplay between aesthetic forms and pedagogical agendas. The nine essays in the collection take into account the full range of meanings associated with the term art: science, method, learning, beautiful expression, artistic creation. In exploring the role art plays in shaping an instructional system, the volume’s contributors examine literary genres that are both established (comedies, tragedies, sonnets) and nascent (novels, manuals, gazettes) as well as the works of a diverse group of seventeenth-century writers: Chassignet, Subligny, Scarron, Lafayette, La Bruyère, Maintenon, de Visé, Boursault, Molière and Racine. What emerges from this diversity is an invaluable exploration of how educational imperatives, no matter their focus, rely as much on manipulating artistic forms as they do on articulating didactic principles. Broad in its scope while remaining thematically coherent, The Art of Instruction will be of interest to students and scholars of early modern French literature, history, culture and pedagogy.

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Nicholas PAIGE: Relearning to Read: Truth and Reference in Subligny’s La Fausse Clélie
Jennifer R. PERLMUTTER: Sociopolitical Educational and the Nouvelles of Le Mercure galant
Twyla MEDING: Keys of Iron, Keys of Gold: Enclosure, Example and Alchemical Teachings in the Novella and L ‘École des femmes
Larry RIGGS: Prudes, Précieux and Patriarchs: Pedagogies of Paranoia and Repression
Perry J. GETHNER: Didactic Strategies in French Classical Comedy
Anne L. BIRBERICK: Behind Closed Doors: Theater, Pedagogy and the ‘Crisis’ of Esther
Claire CARLIN: Perfect Harmony: Love and Marriage in Early Modern Pedagogy
Mark A. COHEN: Satirical Realia: The Caractères’ Conversion of Royal Pedagogy to Social Critique
Christine MCCALL PROBES: The Prince and the Subject at the Intersection of Emblematic Poetry and Art: Moral and Pragmatic Reflection in Jean-Baptiste Chassignet’s Poetry and Pierre de Loysi’s Engravings