Claudia Moscovici


Romantic Aesthetics: Wordsworth and Baudelaire

Romanticism connected the sentiment of passionate love to artistic expression perhaps more closely than any other literary movement by describing both as the undistorted expression of intense and [...]

The love affair between Diderot and Sophie Volland

For almost thirty years, up to the very end of their lives, Diderot wrote beautiful, touching letters to his friend Louise-Henriette Volland. While these letters became more subdued in tone and [...]

Lucidity and Passion in Art

If Diderot’s Salons are such a pleasure to read hundreds of years later, it’s in part because of their conversational tone, inflections of humor and theatricality—all of the rhetorical and [...]

Diderot’s “Traité du beau”

Diderot first broached the question of what is beauty in an article of the Encyclopédie that was published on January 21, 1752 entitled, appropriately enough, “Beauty.” He then edited and [...]

Intellectual Conversations: The Enlightenment Salon and the „Salons”

The contemporary philosopher and art critic for The Nation, Arthur Danto, has stated that it’s nearly impossible to leave one’s mark upon culture as an art critic. If one looks at how few art [...]

Between Two Worlds: Germaine de Staël’s De l’Allemagne

 Novelist, philosophical essayist, political theorist, literary critic, salonnière and exile, Germaine de Staël represents the last éclat of the Enlightenment encyclopedic spirit, its faith in [...]

Rousseau: Human Flourishing and Romantic Passion

At first glance, in La Nouvelle Héloïse love is sensual. The famous bosquet scene, where Julie, Saint-Preux and Claire share their first kisses, captures the enchantment but also the dangers [...]

La Nouvelle Héloïse: The Novel’s Plot and Sources

Rousseau wrote La Nouvelle Héloïse at Monmorency. This novel was in part inspired by his love for Sophie d’Houdetot, who was in turn in love with the poet St.-Lambert. Published in 1761, La [...]

A Kiss Sent By Mail: The Expression of Passion in „Julie”, ou „La Nouvelle Héloïse”

 In 1837, Victor Hugo wrote to his friend, Juliette Drouet, “A letter is a kiss sent by mail.” Hugo’s brief phrase captures the essence of the rich tradition of epistolary novels in France. [...]

Romantic aesthetics and the transition to Modernism: Diderot, Wordsworth and Baudelaire

Denis Diderot was known in his lifetime primarily for being the editor of the Encyclopédie. He is perhaps equally known in our times for his art criticism, which elegantly unites a philosophical [...]