From Fascinated Gaze to Functional Space in Eighteenth Century
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Thanks to the REP grant I received in 2005, I have worked satisfactorily toward the completion of my book on the concept of space in 18th-century French literature. First, I spent the month of July 2005 at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) in Paris, researching one of the authors, Jean-François de Bastide, whom I discuss at length in my project. Although Bastide did considerable work in his career as a polygraph, especially regarding the development of the field of aesthetics during the Enlightenment, his contributions are still largely unrecognized. Apart from one of his pieces, La Petite Maison, which establishes a symbiotic relationship between architecture, sensationalism and its novelistic representation (a text that I have commented along with some of my colleagues both in France--see Michel Delon, Université de Paris IV--and in the United States--see Anthony Vidler, Princeton University), most of his numerous publications remain unread and thus difficult to access. My research at the BNF gave me the unique opportunity to read Bastide almost in extenso, and to take copious notes from which to complete a book chapter devoted to his Homme du monde éclairé par les arts, a major addition to the corpus I have so far explored in my manuscript. Unfortunately, the REP funds allotted to my proposal did not allow me to spend enough time in Paris to do research at the Département des Arts Graphiques of the Louvre. This essential part of my project thus remains unfinished and will necessitate another grant request.