Abstract

Henry Mackenzie’s Julia de Roubigné and Sophie de Condorcet’s French translation and informal critique of Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments revise Smith’s sympathy through formal manipulations of epistolary address and perspective. In the preface to Mackenzie’s novel, translation serves as a figure for disavowing authorship and collides with an instance of dialogue transformed into soliloquy. I identify this transformation as the novel’s defining practice of epistolarity and argue that Julia de Roubigné specifies the impact that Smith’s theory of sympathy has on the history of the novel. A similar epistolary practice shapes Condorcet’s Lettres sur la sympathie, and her translation challenges both the figurative nature and familial basis of Smith’s version of sympathy. Mackenzie’s novel and Condorcet’s works of translation and philosophy signal the specifically formal aspects of the broad cultural revision, in Britain and France, of Smith’s theory of sympathy.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1911-0243
Print ISSN
0840-6286
Pages
pp. 71-98
Launched on MUSE
2009-10-10
Open Access
No
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