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Storytelling in the Spectators / Storytelling dans les spectateurs

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Edited By Klaus-Dieter Ertler, Yvonne Völkl, Elisabeth Hobisch, Alexandra Fuchs and Hans Fernández

The Spectators, also known as Moral Weeklies, were an important magazine genre which came into being in the early 18th century and which shaped European identity by developing the strategies of critical journalism and by popularizing the ideas and values of the Age of Enlightenment. Investigating modes of storytelling in the Spectators is an important starting point for a paradigmatic investigation of our historical, cultural and philosophical evolution since the Enlightenment and the impact of these magazines on issues of identity in today’s Europe. In this collection on ‹Storytelling in the Spectators›, we present a series of contributions which study English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, Czech, Polish and Danish-Norwegian periodicals.

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The Spectators, also known as Moral Weeklies, were an important magazine genre which came into being in the early 18th century and which shaped European identity by developing the strategies of critical journalism and by popularizing the ideas and values of the Age of Enlightenment. In almost all European countries, Spectator magazines were popular in the 18th century and beyond. Through their particular narrative architecture, they helped to form the collective memories of Europeans and influenced the sociability of groups and the personal development of citizens. Investigating modes of storytelling in the Spectators is an important starting point for a paradigmatic investigation of our historical, cultural and philosophical evolution since the Enlightenment and the impact of these magazines on issues of identity in today’s Europe. In this collection on “Storytelling in the Spectators”, we present a series of contributions which study English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, Czech, Polish and Danish-Norwegian periodicals.

In the first chapter, Claire Boulard Jouslin offers a study on the theme “From Telling Stories to Storytelling: Orality, Fiction and Politics in the Spectator (1711–1714) and the Female Spectator (1744–1746)”. She shows that Eliza Haywood’s Female Spectator is often described as one of the followers of Addison and Steele’s Spectator, because it used stories to reform its female readers—a method that seems to come close to Christian Salmon’s definition of storytelling as a way to control opinion by aestheticizing politics and by offering people attractive models to imitate. But she...

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