French literary movement: Preciosity.
Preciosity in its narrowest sense is defined as an affectation in manners and language, that is to say, an artificial posture, attitude in the way of standing, presenting oneself, and expressing oneself. The term refers to a falsehood at the court in the 17th century under Louis XIV, a place of all appearances and all artifices.
Preciosity characterizes the beginning of the reign of Louis XIV (1661-1715). It is an ideal of behavior, which is similar to that of the gentleman, a nobleman having a courteous and charming attitude towards women (as well as a prestigious name). This gallantry is marked by the refinement of manners and language.
Thus, preciosity focuses on reflections and games about love. Its heritage comes from both the courtly love of the Middle Ages, in which a knight devotes himself to a quest of exploits to seduce his Lady, and the pastoral of the 16th century, recounting the sentimental love of young shepherds and shepherdesses. The ideal of love is platonic, without sensual relations, composed of affection of the mind and heart.
The great preciousness belongs to the language. Nobility of mind, the right word, the art of shining through speech, constituted marks of distinction. The search for the beautiful formula, the maxim, the repartee irrigates the fashion of preciosity. Corneille and his tragedies, like those of his brother Thomas, are admired for the disproportionate heroism of the characters, as well as the quality of the declaimed verses. Without having given rise to a true literary movement, major works, preciosity influenced the circles of the 17th century.
This fashion also carried feminist values, which emphasized treating women with great respect, not simply seeing them as passive objects of male desires. Preciosity developed in salons, meetings, receptions organized by Mademoiselle de Scudéry in the Marais district of Paris (in the center of Paris). Madame de La Fayette, Madame de Sévigné, or La Rochefoucauld animated her salon. She made herself known through her writings, and notably through the part of her novel Clélie: The Map of Tenderness (1654-1660), from which a gallant and amorous game is derived.
The Precious ones were mocked and caricatured. False prudes, coquettes, light, evanescent, especially superficial, they retain the reputation of being attached to foolish and deceptive appearances. Molière made fun of this fashion in Les précieuses ridicules (1659). However, it is the excesses that remain today, and not the attachment to tenderness, sophistication, and the affirmation of women in couple relationships.
Links to another French literary movements: French literary movements: The Pleiade. French literary movement: Classicism. French literary movement: Humanism. French literary movement: The Baroque. French literary movement : The enlightenment. French literary movement: Romanticism. French literary movement : The Surrealism movement.
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