Imagology and Exoticism in Montesquieu’s Persian Letters

Abstract

This article aims at highlighting the specificities of Gaston Bachelard’s «La poétique de la rêverie» (The Poetics of Reverie), seen as the pivot of Motesquieu’s imaginary creation in Persian Letters. The Same and the Other are two essential terms when trying to find the place imagology plays in an intercultural approach where France and Persia are associated with an enchanted exoticism. Criteria such as space, taste, the marvellous and verisimilitude will be examined in order to analyse the images vehiculated by the perceived society (France) and by the perceiving one (Persia) and to evaluate Montesquieu’s genius for social irony.

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