Marian Hobson’s work has made a seminal contribution to our understanding of the European Enlightenment, and of Diderot and Rousseau in particular. This book presents her most important articles in a single volume, translated into English for the first time.
Hobson’s distinctive approach is to take a given text or problématique and position it within its intellectual, historical and polemical context. From close analysis of the underlying conceptual structures of literary texts, she offers a unique insight into the vibrant networks of people and ideas at work throughout Europe, and across disciplinary boundaries as diverse as literature and mathematics, medicine and music.
In their translations of Hobson’s essays, Kate Tunstall and Caroline Warman present the primary sources in both the original eighteenth-century French and modern English, making the detail of these debates accessible to everyone, from the specialist to the student, whatever their academic discipline or interest.
…plus qu’une simple collection d’articles, le volume permet d’apprécier, pour ainsi dire "de haut", la cohérence de la carrière de Marian Hobson, et de prendre la mesure de la considérable contribution qu’elle laisse aux études diderotiennes.
- Recherches sur Diderot et l’Encyclopédie
This is an inspiring volume that has much to teach scholars of the Enlightenment hailing from a broad range of disciplines.
- H-France Review
Written in French, Hobson’s early articles from the 1970s played a major role in the new reading of key Enlightenment texts that emerged in the wake of post-structuralism and in particular the work of Jacques Derrida. It is a pleasure to read them again in Tunstall and Warman;s fine translations. They are as acute and relevant today as ever. […] I would argue that Hobson’s readings exemplify ‘deconstructive’ reading at its best: philosophically rigorous, historically precise, and attuned to the text in all its multifarious affiliations and subcurrents.
- French Studies