French Studies 111 THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY By J. Trethewey , University of Wales, Aberystwyth 1. General Jean-Marc Chatelain, La Bibliothe `que de l’honne ˆte homme: livres, lectures et collections en France a ` l’a ˆge classique, Bibliotheque nationale de France, 211 pp., presents his subject matter in a volume of an elegance which is a modern tribute to the age he deals with. He tackles every aspect of the relationship between the honne ˆte homme and books, starting with a deﬁnition of what reading means to such a person whose aim would be to achieve ‘un certain rapport au livre e ´tabli sur la volonte ´ de ne jamais abstraire la lecture de l’expe ´rience et du commerce du monde’. C. then gives us an account of the origins and evolution of this rapport. He indicates the kind of books the honne ˆte homme would wish to be acquainted with and own: ‘des livres pour la conversation [. . .], des livres comme conversation’. Thence to the library, its ordering, its presentation, the presence in it of old and prestigious original editions, its ‘luxe et sobrie ´te ´’. C. introduces us to a fortunately preserved example: ‘le cabinet des
The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies – Brill
Published: Dec 27, 2005
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