Book Presentations & Readings Series: „Casanova: Enlightenment Philosopher“, by Prof. Diego Lucci. Nov. 15, 2016
November 13, 2016
This book presents an interpretive turn in Casanova studies by positioning the writer as an Enlightenment thinker. Drawing primarily on Casanova’s large body of manuscripts and lesser-known works, authors uncover a philosopher whose writings covered topics ranging from sensual pleasure to suicide. Analyzing Casanova’s works from the perspective of moral philosophy, contributors exemplify how several of his works – including his historical writings and satirical essays on human folly – contribute to the Enlightenment quest for a secular morality. Religion was one of Casanova’s key concerns and is a particular focus for contributors to this book. With chapters examining Casanova’s critique of religion and the Italian context in which this originated, his thoughts on suicide, and a questioning of the authorship of the Dialogues chrétiens, usually attributed to Voltaire, authors reveal a sensitive thinker, not merely a cynical seducer. Casanova: Enlightenment philosopher marks a turning point in literary and philosophical studies of the eighteenth century, and is an indispensable starting point for analyzing and interpreting Casanova’s manuscripts.