Critical Essays on the Long Eighteenth-Century Night
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This volume brings together eleven case studies that address how the night became visible in the long and global eighteenth century through different mediums and in different geographical contexts.
Situated on the eve of the introduction of artificial lighting, the long eighteenth century has much to say about night’s darkness and brilliance. The eighteenth century has been bound up epistemologically with images of light, reason, and order. Night and day, light and darkness, reason and mystery, however, are not necessarily at odds in the eighteenth century. In their analysis of narratives, poetry, urban spaces, music, the visual arts, and geological phenomena, the essays provide various frameworks to examine the representation, treatment, and meaning of the enlightened night.
The transnational and multidisciplinary nature of the volume presents a survey of the research currently being done in the field of the long eighteenth-century night. This collection contributes to an ongoing exercise that questions the accepted definitions of the Enlightenment, and by bringing Eighteenth-Century Studies into dialogue with Night Studies, it enriches the critical conversation between these lines of research.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Part 1: Nighttime Experiments 2. Libertine Nocturnes, or The Many Marvels of the Enlightened Night 3. Abysms on Open View: Terrestrial Expressions of Preternatural Darkness and Heavenly Night 4. "One Thousand Divine Truths": Night, Darkness and the Sublime in the Poetry of Juan Meleìndez Valdeìs 5. Shadowed Celebration: Goethe’s Klassische Walpurgisnacht and Creative Profusion Part 2: Nocturnal Visions 6. Francisco de Goya’s Sleep of Reason and Other States of Somnolence in the Caprichos 7. The Other Side of Night: Enlightened Dreaming in Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s Beauty and the Beast (1740) 8. Fire at Bedtime, or the Dangers of Sleep in France (1700–1830) Part 3: Nocturnal Sights and Sounds 9. Early to Bed: Sleep, Artificial Light, and Entertainment in Eighteenth-Century Istanbul 10. The Uncertainty of Evening in Seduction Narratives of the Early Republic 11. "Like a Night Without Darkness": Music and Nightscape in the Early Piano Nocturne (1810–1830) 12. The Haunted Industrialized Nightscape: Factories, Mills, and Ironworks at Night
Pamela F. Phillips is Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras.