In the defense of Seneca that Diderot attempts to build in the Essai, the most obvious objective is to counter the accusations of hypocrisy raised against the Roman philosopher. In order to accomplish his task, Diderot will clarify the interpretation of Seneca's actions in their historical context and will find testimony to his virtue through a careful commentary on his works. But far from establishing both Seneca and Diderot the apologist in a strong and clear position as subjects/masters of their acts and discourses, the text generates fragile, provisional and fragmented subjects. I present three facets of this issue : the awareness of the author figure as construction ; the historicization of the political and moral subject ; and the fragmentation of the personal subject.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Literature and Literary Theory