The Place of Exile
Leisure Literature and the Limits of Absolutism
At once political institution, lived experience, and discursive figure, exile defined Louis XIV's absolutist France. The Place of Exile connects the movements of both people and books through and around this absolutist territory in order to understand the deliberate construction of real and imagined marginal cultures. Four case studies of everyday, sociable writing called leisure literature guide us through an ever-widening territory of disaffection and alienation, from the center of absolutism at Louis XIV's first court to Europe's international communities of refugees. Those least likely to be considered political writers--banished noble women, novel writers,poor refugees--used literature to consider the viability of a world beyond authority's reach. More importantly, leisure literature confronted one of the major paradoxes of the grand siècle: the shifting possibilities for selfhood available in a society increasingly defined by radical divisions, whether beyond exile and grace, inside and out, interiority and exteriority.
About the author:
Juliette Cherbuliez is Assistant Professor of French at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.