Montesquieu and the “literature of ideas”. About the Persian Letters
Keywords:Montesquieu, Lettres persanes, reading, érudition, philosophy
Three hundred years after the publication of the Lettres persanes in 1721, Montesquieu’s ecdotics, which includes also the translation, is indisputably a scientific work and therefore determines the value of reception, contradicting at the same time what Montesquieu himself thought of his first book: that it was not serious. Whether it was or not, and to what extent should also be reading —the reader could be perfectly satisfied with the taste of pleasant productions of the spirit, in accordance with what had hitherto been the traditional role of the belles lettres— is one of the first difficulties to know it and acknowledge its philosophic dimension.
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