Sex, Violence, Sacrilege in Enlightenment Fiction

In this seminar we will explore the dark side of the Enlightenment, sometimes also called, The Age of Reason. The English, German, French and American fictions we will read are shockingly willing to challenge all our pieties and inhibitions, particular with respect to the most intimate and the most sacred relations of our lives. How it is possible, we will ask, that the age that brought us liberty, equality, and fraternity also brought us such gleefully conspicuous cruelty, terror, and vice? How is it possible that philosophical texts both expose and indulge such qualities?
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