The Maxims in Mémoires sur les Moeurs de ce Siècle
Duclos’ third and last novel, Mémoires sur les moeurs de ce siècle, was first published in 1751 as a companion piece to the Considérations, and the ten years separating it from the other two novels is apparent. Most critics speak of it as a second version of the Confessions du Comte de ***, and indeed many similarities of narration and plot are in evidence. But an attempt will be made to show the clear differences in what is described and in the nature of the maxims in this work. We will find that the maxims clarify and amplify the tenets of Duclos as a descriptive moralist, and establish certain prescriptions for the betterment of humanity as he views it. A short sketch of the characters and plot and general format of the novel will serve as a base of discussion.
KeywordsCompanion Piece Amorous Adventure Violente Passion Descriptive Moralist Wise Woman
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