Tuesday, September 9, 2014

CORRESPONDANCE LITTÉRAIRE, No. 5

AM | @HDI1780

- David Bromwich. The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke. From the Sublime and Beautiful to American Independence. Harvard University Press, 2014. [HUP]

This is the first volume of a new biography of Edmund Burke (1, 2). I saw it a Alibri (@LibreriaAlibri) in Barcelona. It looks interesting, not least because the author appears to focus more on the progressive than on the conservative side of Burke's thought. (Which reminds me of Rudolf Boon's sympathetic portrait Een progressieve conservatief. Edmund Burke als tijgenoot. Aspect, 2004). Says Bromwich: "I like to think of Burke as a conservationist of morals, rather than a conservative". From the editors:

This intellectual biography examines the first three decades of Burke’s professional life. His protest against the cruelties of English society and his criticism of all unchecked power laid the groundwork for his later attacks on abuses of government in India, Ireland, and France. Bromwich allows us to see the youthful skeptic, wary of a social contract based on “nature”; the theorist of love and fear in relation to “the sublime and beautiful”; the advocate of civil liberty, even in the face of civil disorder; the architect of economic reform; and the agitator for peace with America.
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- Leo Damrosch. Jonathan Swift. His Life and His World. Yale University Press, 2013 [YUP]. Laura Collins-Hughes: "Jonathan Swift by Leo Damrosh", Boston Globe, January 18, 2014. [VIDEO].

In 1724, in the fourth letter of "M. B. Drapier" against plans to introduce a new currency managed from London, Jonathan Swift, Anglican dean of St. Patricks' Cathedral in Dublin, writes: "For, in reason, all government without the consent of the governed, is the very definition of slavery [...] The king is limited by law" (*). Leo Damrosch, Ernest Bernbaum Research Professor of Literature at Harvard University, is out with a new biography of Swift. From the editors:

In this deeply researched biography, Leo Damrosch draws on discoveries made over the past thirty years to tell the story of Swift’s life anew. Probing holes in the existing evidence, he takes seriously some daring speculations about Swift’s parentage, love life, and various personal relationships and shows how Swift’s public version of his life—the one accepted until recently—was deliberately misleading.

(*) The Works of Jonathan Swift, with Notes by Walter Scott, Vol. VII. Edimburgh, 1814.
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- Vincent Azoulay. Les Tyrannicides d'Athènes. Vie et mort de deux statues. Seuil, 2014 [ver].

Es la historia de Harmodius y Aristogiton (Ἁρμόδιος/ Ἀριστογείτων), asesinos del tirano ateniense Hipparchus. Es una historia interesante, con política, celos y sexo (eran homosexuales). Pude comprobar, este año, que el "Antonio Aristhogiton" de la Gazeta de Buenos-Ayres de agosto de 1810 es en realidad Mariano Moreno [ver]. Según Azoulay, fue a partir del siglo XVIII, con la Histoire Universelle de Charles Rollin y con los Viajes del joven Anarcharsis de Jean-Jacques Barthélémy, que la historia de Harmodius y Aristogiton renace en Occidente. Justamente, se trata de autores leídos de cerca por Moreno.

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