Abstract

This article reconsiders Marivaux’s neglected status as an Enlightenment social thinker by examining Marivaux’s representations of poverty and capital in L’indigent philosophe and Le paysan parvenu. I argue that the erratic dimension of economics in Regency Paris is negotiated via the classical trope of Fortuna, as Marivaux attempts to find an appropriate idiom for addressing the new material realities of modern Paris. In a newly destabilized world of signs, I argue that Marivaux deploys poverty and theatricality as central tools for the modern self’s self-fashioning, as it negotiates its exit from the social strictures of the Ancien Régime.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-0234
Print ISSN
0014-0767
Pages
pp. 59-71
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-02
Open Access
No
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