Jacques The Fatalist And His Master

Paperback | May 6, 1986

byDenis DiderotTranslated byMichael HenryIntroduction byMartin Hall

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Denis Diderot (1713-1784) was among the greatest writers of the Enlightenment, and in Jacques the Fatalist he brilliantly challenged the artificialities of conventional French fiction of his age. Riding through France with his master, the servant Jacques appears to act as though he is truly free in a world of dizzying variety and unpredictability. Characters emerge and disappear as the pair travel across the country, and tales begin and are submerged by greater stories, to reveal a panoramic view of eighteenth-century society. But while Jacques seems to choose his own path, he remains convinced of one philosophical belief: that every decision he makes, however whimsical, is wholly predetermined. Playful, picaresque and comic, Diderot's novelis a compelling exploration of Enlightment philosophy. Brilliantly original in style, it is one of the greatest precursors to post-modern literature.

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From Our Editors

An easy-to-understand translation is this edition’s best asset. As winner of the Scott-Moncreiff Prize in 1996, this highly readable version of Diderot’s novel also includes a critique of the author’s literary techniques, which were experimental and influential at the time. The story itself focuses on the downfalls of human existence, ...

From the Publisher

Denis Diderot (1713-1784) was among the greatest writers of the Enlightenment, and in Jacques the Fatalist he brilliantly challenged the artificialities of conventional French fiction of his age. Riding through France with his master, the servant Jacques appears to act as though he is truly free in a world of dizzying variety and unpre...

From the Jacket

In this revolutionary novel, a leading figure of the Enlightenment celebrates the unpredictable nature of man and the world as he considers the behavior of the moral being and the philosophical dilemma of free will and determinism.

Denis Diderot was born at Langres in eastern France in 1713. After graduating in Paris in 1732, he was nominally a law student for ten years, but was actually leading a precarious bohemian but studious existence. In the early 1740s he met three contemporaries who were of great significance to him and to the age: a'Alembert, Condillac...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 7.79 × 5.1 × 0.65 inPublished:May 6, 1986Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140444726

ISBN - 13:9780140444728

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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From Our Editors

An easy-to-understand translation is this edition’s best asset. As winner of the Scott-Moncreiff Prize in 1996, this highly readable version of Diderot’s novel also includes a critique of the author’s literary techniques, which were experimental and influential at the time. The story itself focuses on the downfalls of human existence, fate, and free will.