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New Publication from Blair Hoxby | Shadows of the Enlightenment: Tragic Drama during Europe's Age of Reason

Cover of book titled "Shadows of the Enlightenment: Tragic Drama during Europe’s Age of Reason." The cover features an Enlightenment era painting of an old man with a cloak and walking stick who carries a young boy in one arm.

Blair Hoxby’s new collection of essays, Shadows of the Enlightenment: Tragic Drama during Europe’s Age of Reason (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2022) has appeared in print.

About the book:
To refer to the Enlightenment is to teeter on the brink of paradox. The eighteenth century is famous for its celebration of ideals such as optimism, reason, and human progress – ideals seemingly contradicted by the pessimism and passion of much classical tragedy. For precisely this reason, the theory and practice of seventeenth-century tragedy has often been held up as a sterner, more admirable standard. In Shadows of the Enlightenment, a group of respected experts specializing in classical, eighteenth-century, and comparative literary studies offers a critical reassessment, demonstrating that the century was in fact a period of vital creation, in which the classical clashed with – and in some cases, forged – the modern. By analyzing a diverse set of authors – from Christoph Gottsched to Voltaire to Joanna Baillie – with a rare pan-European scope, the authors excavate the paradoxical entanglement of antiquity and modernity in Enlightenment tragedy.
Contributors: Alex Eric Hernandez (University of Toronto), Logan J. Connors (University of Miami), James Harriman-Smith (University of Newcastle), Blair Hoxby (Stanford University), Russ Leo (Princeton University), Cécile Dudouyt (Paris 13), Adrian Daub (Stanford University), Stefan Tilg (University of Freiburg), Larry F. Norman (University of Chicago), Joshua Billings (Princeton University)