Klaus-Dieter Ertler / Samuel Baudry / Yvonne Völkl (eds.)
Discourses on Economy in the Spectators /
Discours sur l‘économie dans les spectateurs
Studien zur Romanistik, Band 32
Hamburg 2018, 250 Seiten
ISBN 978-3-8300-9998-7 (Print & eBook)
about this book
The Spectator (1711–1712; 1714), as an example of the moral press genre, was from its creation closely linked to an economic discourse of Protestant origin. From the first issue, the English prototype created by Richard Steele and Joseph Addison effectively allegorized the vectors of British liberalism of the time. The two journalists questioned the economic viability of their own publishing enterprise by calling attention to the sale of their moral weekly and the financial and material constraints they faced. With the transmission of The Spectator model throughout continental Europe, these two threads of economic discourse became intertwined. The imitators of Steele and Addison addressed the economic problems of their own time: they questioned the responsibility of money as social link or dividing force, the importance of commerce and exchange – of goods or of information –, the links between the wealth of a nation and the industry of its inhabitants. At the same time, they initiated a kind of meta-discourse by raising economic questions on the journal itself.
With our contributions, we want to demonstrate the ways in which economic issues took on various forms and addressed different content in the « spectators » published on an international scale in the eighteenth century. We have considered such discursive migrations in order to draw connections not only back to the English prototype, but equally to the specific traditions that came before and those that followed.
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