Rêves impies: La Fille du Soleil Noir, T3 (BIT-LIT) (French Edition)

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Jean-Paul Poirier, Cahiers philosophiques, mars , pp. How could an event occurring in Lisbon be felt at the very same instant thousands of miles from there? Having previously sought to address the role of earthquakes in Earth history, existing models of thought were unable to answer the question. Of course, they cite them and borrow widely from them; but borrowings and citations relate to specific, quite concrete, points.

Earthquakes were still a poorly constituted object of knowledge, since they did not belong to any single branch of science, and since it was impossible to prove the explanations put forward for them. The History and philosophy of earthquakes, collected from the best writers on the subject by a member of the Royal Academy of Berlin with a particular account of the great one of November, the 1st in various parts of the globe London: , p. The shocks of the s elicited quite an array of novel scientific approaches, with each being put to the test in order to determine the best theoretical model.

As the scientific domain was neither fully professionalized nor totally discrete, the public nature of the debate legitimized each and every intervention. Le Monnier also noted that an electrical current crossed an expanse of water, such as the pond in the Tuileries gardens, without losing any of its power. Even more spectacular experiments were carried out in this vein by Jean Jallabert around Lake Geneva and by William Watson and other members of the Royal Society in London in when they would send currents across rivers by means of two iron bars plunged simultaneously into the water.

A New Way of Looking at Nature The problem posed by earthquakes was not only theoretical but also practical: the tremors of necessitated new methods of investigation. In order properly to study the scale and distribution of this phenomenon, a greatly increased number of observations were needed, as it was no longer viable to limit data to a single account specific to its locality.

Histoires de la Terre: Earth Sciences and French Culture by jbfb - Issuu

Each scientist had therefore to collate information by calling on his network of correspondents. In Paris this meant putting together an overview drawn from various localities across the country — Aix, Toulouse, Sedan, Beaune, and many more besides. This empirical history in fact started in the s when scientists first encountered earthquakes in France. These low-to-moderate intensity phenomena were more numerous than had previously been thought, forcing scientists to construct new grids of reference and appropriate procedures for observing them. Je les jugeai sur la direction des oscillations de quelques corps suspendus du sud-est au.

To the initial reporting framework were added the lapse of time between shocks, their direction, the weather conditions air pressure, temperature, wind direction, etc. Knowing the time at which an earthquake struck was fundamental. A simultaneous shock occurring at two different points allowed scientists to conclude that they were dealing with the same phenomenon and a single cause.

If a slight chronological discrepancy existed between the shocks, this focussed investigations on the physical mechanics of the earthquake: how did a shock occurring at a central point spread? What was the speed of its propagation? Such questions demanded an increased level of precision in order to corroborate proofs, calculate velocities and establish the physical geography of an area. Scientific accounts of the time paid close attention to determining the direction of land movements where these occurred so as to arrive at a more general understanding of the phenomenon.

Directions of land movements indicated the epicentre of earthquakes and synthesizing this sort of information enabled scientists to link up spatially dispersed events. Measuring the duration of shocks provided yet another element of comparison as well as suggesting further trails of enquiry for geophysical theory. It was and is still an implicit means of assessing the intensity of the shock.

Empirically, contemporaries believed that the duration of the tremor determined, among other things, the extent of the material damage sustained. The procedure for observing seismic activity spread remarkably quickly. The first group to be affected by this comprised provincial academicians and their official and unofficial correspondents. At the time of the seismic activity of , and thereafter, numerous individuals recorded observations and presented them to scientific bodies.

Neither were the lower orders excluded from this geological craze, even in the countryside. This contraption, the mechanics of which remain a mystery, must have travelled between the regional fairs. Already the tremors of the s were accompanied by exuberant displays of collective interest up and down the kingdom. Yet if there were seismophiles, there were also seismophobes. A scholar from Bordeaux, one M. The earthquake of 10 August that year provided him with the opportunity to demonstrate that electrical theories could explain seismic motion.

His audience, however, preferred to believe that his invocations were somehow linked to the catastrophe which had just struck the city, and rose up against the physicist whose apparatus only just escaped destruction. Klincksieck, , p. Conclusion With the Lisbon disaster, natural catastrophe became an historical event. It was no longer one among many other interchangeable signifiers of Nature, or of the natural world, grounding its meaning in an ahistorical transcendence.

Catastrophe here moved away from its etymological sense of a theatrical denouement which promises at once a new beginning. The secularization of catastrophe had less to do with a wholesale rejection of religious connotations that it did with the transformation of catastrophe into a contingent event occurring at a specific time and in a specific place.

The historicization of natural catastrophe established a new relation with the present. For the first time in centuries the degree of risk deemed acceptable by mankind had changed; in escalating a sense of risk in society at large, the Lisbon earthquake of opened the way for other dangers to become quantifiable risks, from volcanic eruptions to the incidence of lead poisoning. For the first time too, the impact of the events in Lisbon brought into direct contact the localized experience of disaster and the nationwide debates about it, thereby giving a voice to sections of the population who previously had had little or none.

The politicization of the catastrophe in Lisbon also collapsed the safe distance that had hitherto separated sovereigns from natural disasters; these latter would henceforth represent crises capa-. Ultimately, natural catastrophe also became a socal issue, giving rise to contrasting and concurrent interpretations of its meaning. The debt we owe to Lisbon lies elsewhere, specifically in the inscription of natural catastrophe in the historical process, thereby founding the western conception of historical progress as a gradual liberation of humankind from the twin dangers of Nature and Evil. Yet — as we are discovering today — increasingly sophisticated and complex societies generate a new order of vulnerability, often greater than that experienced in the past.

Concentrations of several million people, equipped with expensive technological systems and an ultramodern network of communications, are ultimately fragile things. Risk and death are part of the normal functioning of any social system, hence the urgency of being aware of them and of protecting oneself in advance. The utopian idea, often seen as accompanying the Lisbon disaster, that we might one day triumph over nature, has to be abandoned.

On this point, we still have a lot to learn from the events in Lisbon over years ago. Stuttgart: Frommann, , V, pp. Headed by a vignette of the workshop or shop front, and followed by exploded diagrams of machinery and equipment, successive plates display the processes, equipment and products of each art in ever-increasing detail, with the aim of enabling the reader to comprehend even the most complex of procedures. Each individual item, each human figure, is labelled and explained in the accompanying notes.

Diderot: Correspondance, ed. Kafker and Serena L. They soon turned my head with a new system of antediluvian deluges, which they have invented to prove the eternity of matter. The Baron is persuaded that Pall Mall is paved with lava or deluge stones. His well-regarded art collection, moreover, although it may well have been just one more element in the lifestyle of a wealthy philosophe, also suggests an aesthetic interest in the mineralogical plates above and beyond their scientific context.

Lewis, Robert A. Smith, and Charles H. Lewis and Robert A. Smith , p. Instead of a vignette followed by a successive enumeration and elaboration of the tools and machinery involved, these plates consist mainly of single images, with few of the illustrative techniques of breaking down and peering used in the plates on the mechanical arts. Compared with the dynamic depiction of the processes involved in human industry, these plates may at first glance appear static, offering little understanding of the processes at work within Nature beyond an aesthetic depiction of their visible effects. Certainly, much of this has to do with the nature of the subject presented and the development of mineralogy as a science in the mid-eighteenth century.

Although some geological cross-sections are to be found in seventeenth-century texts, these tended to illustrate cosmological or cosmogonical theories rather than observation-based representations of a particular locale; it was not until the mid-eighteenth century that stratographical depictions of particular regions began to be published in works on the study of the Earth.

New Earth and the New Heavens. The varied provenance of these plates reveals in itself the variety of contexts in which the eighteenth century related to the natural world. London: Penguin, , pp. Schwab, Walter E. Some images were lifted from a growing body of literature on natural history available to the general reading public, although such borrowing sometimes gave little regard to the original context of the images used.

Alongside growing scientific examination of volcanoes, a trip to Vesuvius was a key stop for Grand Tourists, and volcanoes also occupied a central place in eighteenthcentury European painting, dramatic night-time explosions offering artists the opportunity to use the contrast of light and shade to spectacular effect fig. At first sight, however, the presence of humanity in the plates is easily overlooked. Even without their titles, there is little question as to what the plates are purporting to show.

Perez and Pinault, p. The image of the Grindelwald glacier fig. Thus, in one of the plates on volcanic eruptions fig. That this contextualizing of natural phenomena within the framework of human activity was sometimes deliberate, and not simply the result of borrowing ready-drawn images from other sources, is evident from one of the plates depicting Auvergne basalt fig. On the left of the image stands a man contemplating the vast rock face: although dwarfed by the basalt columns, his field of vision neatly encompasses the entirety of the fa-.

In this way, the awesome basalt columns which initially seem to dominate the image are appropriated and cut down to a manageable size by human vision; and completing this process, a group of people converse at the very foot of the rock face, seemingly undaunted by its size and treating it almost as little more than a convenient backdrop to the important business of social interaction. On peut voir dans la Planche, fig. A, que ces articulations forment comme une couronne antique. XII, Crookshank, The Painters of Ireland, p.

These plates on mineralogy, then, can be seen to represent the variety of ways in which the eighteenth century related to the natural world. The relationship between man and nature operated within the contexts of industry, leisure activity, and scientific endeavour, and thus Nature was variously a resource to be managed, a spectacle to be admired, and an object to be examined. In early modern Europe marshes and fens were commonly perceived as places of fear and loathing. Other dangers included getting lost in their featureless expanses, or flooding destroying nearby cultivations and manufactures.

Contemporary observers of bogs and fen often imputed the abhorrent nature of the physical environment to the moral character of its inhabitants. However, in England, and yet more so in France, the main source of social and political conflict in the wetlands of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was land rights.

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This habitually turned on peasants challenging seigneurial attempts to appropriate, clear or drain areas traditionally considered to be common land. This wasteland was used to graze small numbers of livestock; it was also a source of water, fuel, often in the form of peat, or bedding in the form of rushes or reeds. Yet resistance could also be fierce and violent, as in the smashing of sluices in seventeenth-century Lincolnshire, or the reported stoning and burning in effigy of a local drainage agent on the Somerset Levels in They were used for the summer grazing of livestock, especially cattle and sheep; they were home to geese reared for quill and duvet manufacturing; they were hunted for wildfowl, eel and fish; if surrounding cultivation needed draining, it was drained by ridgeand-furrow ploughing.

And where the geology allowed, they were, of course, exploited for peat. Peat is essentially the accumulated remains of dead plants, trees and other vegetal matter. Modern scientific analysis has found that it is ninety-nine percent organic in composition, of which at least eighty per cent is combustible when dried out. Taking as his example the peat fields of Flanders, the great naturalist Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon concluded that peat was produced by violent sea flooding of the coastal regions which uprooted all trees and vegetation in the area.

This vegetal matter was then overlain by sea waters under which it compressed and rotted. As the sea eventually receded from this part of western Europe, the peat deposits were dragged together to accumulate and concentrate. Purseglove, Taming the Flood, p. Unfortunately, if these reclaimed lands were not then immediately cultivated, drainage could prove counter-productive and costly.

For the exposed and desiccated peat is prone to shrinkage, wastage and oxidation occasioned by contact with the air, a process which is also accelerated by bacterial action. In eighteenth-century England, this lesson was quickly learnt, and drained peatlands were quickly ploughed, limed, manured and harrowed with a fodder crop, usually oats or potatoes.

See M. Delisle de Sales, De la philosophie de la nature, 3 vols Paris: , I, p. The dung is carried onto the moorlands by a single-horse cart along a drained and gravelled track which is also used for removing crops later from the reclaimed land. The formation of the larger marshlands in Western Europe was generally attributed to the action of the sea. Buffon claims that a prehistoric isthmus or land-bridge. As the sea receded in this part of the world, these coastal deposits were both spread over large areas and rose out of the subsiding waters.

As Jeremy Black remarks, the Physiocrats had a point inasmuch as all contemporary manufacturing processes used only natural products and hence, at some point in the chain of production, relied on agricultural activity for their raw materials. Were not peasant fallows, furlong farming and ridge-and-furrow draining on a par with Gothic. Jeremy Black, Eighteenth-Century Europe, 2nd ed. London: Macmillan, , p. Their short agricultural tours of Suffolk and Norfolk in the July and September of that year, in the company of Young, convinced the brothers of the superiority of English agricultural methods: its innovative crop rotation system which did not require land to lie fallow, its comprehensive use of enclosure, its novel use of carrots and turnips as fodder crops on reclaimed fenland, and its consequent concentration of livestock farming.

Jean Marchand, trans. Roberts London: Caliban Books, , pp. Already at the start of the seventeenth century, Henri IV of France had invited and paid Dutch engineers to oversee the reclamation of large areas of marsh in the Somme estuary, the lower reaches of the Seine and in Normandy.


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Another controversial Dutchman, Cornelius Vermuyden, performed the same function in England, draining Hatfield Close, south of the Humber estuary, from to He also advanced projects for similar massive draining of the Somerset Levels, although these were never executed. La Rochefoucauld, A Frenchman in England, p. Nonetheless, financial greed was not in itself a great enough incentive to drive the early modern processes of wetland draining, clearance and cultivation. Exploiting the general reputation of marshes and bogs as places of evil and infamy, religion and public morality were also invoked as reasons for their reclamation.

By the English reclaimers of the Fens had imported from Holland the technique of using windmill-powered pumps to drain the wetlands. It was not, however, until much later in the century that a further discovery and subsequent innovation in draining expanded the practice of wetland reclamation, first in Britain and then on the Continent. This discovery took place near Leamington Spa in when a local farmer, Joseph Elkington, solved the problem of underdrainage, that is, of clearing not just the surface waters from an area of wetland but of siphoning off low-level underground water tables by tapping and diverting their springs.

In the British Parliament awarded Elkington the hand-. Black, Eighteenth-Century Europe, p. Le Roy Ladurie, J. Berchtold, J. Generally, they were most effective where there were large local labour forces. This is understandable not only because drainage was a labour-intensive process, but also because it was in heavily populated areas that the demand was greatest for increased agricultural production and hence for more land on which to provide it. The population increase in Britain and France, especially after , was at once the cause of wetland reclamation and a means to effect it.

In France the population rose from around 21 million in to If this was the English model, it also began to be widely adopted in France in the late eighteenth century. In Normandy, for instance, a better supply of fodder crops from reclaimed lands, including marshes, encouraged animal husbandry, especially with regard to cattle; the cattle in turn produced.

Purseglove, Taming the Flood, pp. McManners, Death and the Enlightenment, p. Strahan, T. Cadell, , pp. That the English model was dominant would appear to be proven by the fact that in , at the height of hostilities between Britain and France, the revolutionary Directoire commissioned an eighteen-volume translation of selected agronomic works by Young, published under the title, Le Cultivateur anglois. Two points seem most salient in conclusion. Firstly, the technical advances which had initially facilitated wetland draining and enclosure were the prelude to yet greater technical advances in land management which ultimately deterred farmers from reclaiming marsh and fen; instead they opted for less expensive, less labour-intensive means of increasing productivity, such as buying into the bourgeoning nineteenth-century fertilizer industry.

Combined with more frequent, cheaper foreign imports of foodstuffs, this second wave of the agricultural revolution left a lot of reclaimed wetland derelict, although it took a long time, if ever, to return to its former state of natural equilibrium. Secondly, and conversely, industrialization, with all its concomitant political and economic crises, far from sounding the death knell of peat farming, actually intensified interest in it as a low-grade fossil fuel source. By France was actually exporting , tonnes of peat a year at a price of more than ten francs per tonne.

Yet, more happily, the twentieth century also saw towards its end a belated recognition that wetlands were to be valued and conserved as unique natural wildernesses — ironically in. These developments also offered a model for the elaboration of utopian political spaces which could dissolve the traditional opposition between nature and technology, a model that the SaintSimonians in particular were keen to adopt.

With the recording of new topographical information at the beginning of the nineteenth century, cartographers were able to produce an authoritative new map depicting France as a unified spatial entity. As Antoine Picon has shown, the task of developing this newly-defined territory fell to the modern corps of civil engineers. Their project of social regeneration centred on a vast programme of public works,. While Saint-Simonian propaganda had invested heavily in specialist technical literature throughout the s, promoting in particular in the newspapers Le Globe and Le Producteur the civil and industrial benefits of such subjects as mechanical and civil engineering, under Enfantin the group soon became desirous of a less didactically structured and more generally sensually persuasive presentation of its programme for development.

One of the principal objectives of the retreat was the writing of the Livre nouveau des Saint-Simoniens, a manuscript intended as a prophetic synthesis of human knowledge. The work broaches a vast number of themes, reflected in its successive discussions of the liberation of woman, the potential social applications of electricity, mathematics, stereotomy and physiology, and the histories of language and literature. Like Enfantin, Chevalier suggests that the vibrancy of their language enables their absorption into their material surroundings; these individuals are thus able to imagine new configurations of objects and environments.

Such vatic utterances by Enfantin and his disciples in the Livre nouveau inform a range of rhapsodic prose tracts and poems composed by prominent Saint-Simonians such as Chevalier and Duveyrier. This might be described as a sort of lyrical country planning according to which the earth is seen as a body whose udders can be milked and whose entrails can be explored. Duveyrier insists on sensual contact as a point of departure for poetic practice; he opines that by moving toward a form of expression constituted by the contact of the senses with the material world, the poet will sense an empathy with his surroundings that is unadulterated by Romantic melancholy and discover new sources of linguistic dynamism.

Duveyrier calls for a rejuvenation of poetic language and a type of poetic prose that would supposedly restore an immediacy of contact with the Earth and more authentically convey the chaos of sense impressions.

Soleil Noir

This concern with conveying immediate and uninterrupted sensual and visual stimulation registers in the massively inclusive poetic gaze adopted in his poems. Such richly contrastive images are already inscribed in the topography of this imagined Paris that the gaze is never permitted to settle on and internalize what is glimpsed; Duveyrier seems to suggest that any meditative intervention would disturb the sensual pleasure of vision. Massive urban development does not give rise to the sort of melancholy and nostalgia later evoked by Baudelaire. Instead, such rapid change affords surprising visual contrasts and stimulates new configurations of sensation, whose pleasureable effects on the speaker nourish his empathy with the changing environment.

Meanwhile, the third example presents the reader with a figure of visual fragmentation. The tensions generated by the new configuration of urban and rural features are also active on a stylistic level in the poem. Competition for the poetic gaze occurs, prompting a spontaneous borrowing from diverse registers.

Composed of a network of nerve endings, the solar plexus is promoted since it presents a figure of immediate, delocalized sensation. Duveyrier is keen to emphasize the interplay of the internal vitality of the individual and its external milieu, hinting that poetic subjectivity emerges at the point of contact between the subject and a complex and continually changing material environment.

Here colour, texture and shape are augmented, setting the objects viewed in a new light and reflecting a novel organization of experience. On a thematic level, the text presents an alliance of technological advance with sensual excitement and exoticism. Its enumeration of a telegraph pole, lightning conductor, lighthouse, gaslights and other technical additions to the edifice artificially stimulate.

In the interior of the temple the poet glimpses steppes and savannahs, coconut trees and the Imperial Canal of China. Elsewhere, sensual stimuli are foregrounded via the inclusion of exotic motifs, notably in stanza Sixteen; here the encounter with Arabs, Chinese, Malays and Tartars is accompanied by coffee, tea, perfumes and feasts. One of the most metrically uniform passages of the poem occurs between stanzas Six and Eight, where line lengths range between seven, eight and nine syllables.

Unexpectedly, the movement inside and underground does not correspond to spatial economy or to a narrowing of viewpoint. In normal circumstances a preposition serves to indicate the temporal, spatial or logical relationship of its object to the rest of the sentence. What results is a kind of parataxis par contre-coup, according to which the accumulation of prepositions actually isolates each phrase from the main clause, with the effect that successive images are juxtaposed. As the poet-observer experiences it, the world of the temple seems to be governed by contingency; however the act of repetition achieves a mesmerizing totality of effect which envelops him in the scene.

In Le Livre nouveau, Enfantin is attentive to the potential applications of contemporary developments in the science of elasticity, suggesting that future architectural designs would place less importance on adherence to principles of spatial form and composition inherited from Greek and Roman architecture and more recent neoclassicism. This formal peculiarity reflects a more flexible attitude to the conventional metric forms of the Alexandrine and the octosyllable. Together with the thematic incursion of pastoral motifs into urban scenes, and of that of the vegetal into the architectural, these formal and thematic aspects of the text combine to suggest the potential for new poetic forms to emerge organically around the armature of older variants.

By consequence, the poem seems to incite the reader to develop a panoramic perspective similar to that of the spectator it describes. Like the spectator, such a reader would not focus on individual elements but would cultivate a more immediate, panoramic perspective on the text. This ideological ambition, with its implicit dismissal of individual imaginative consciousness, goes some way to explaining the ostensibly scant appeal of such Saint-Simonian visions of the future as a source of inspiration for creative writers of the period, for in reality, the SaintSimonians were attempting to discover new, more persuasive bases for the articulation of a discursive regime.


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Moreover, SaintSimonianism as political force entered a period of decline from the late s onwards, and a considerable number of one-time members of the group such as Chevalier and Duveyrier came to be reconciled to the dominant political power. Yet these individuals continued to pursue and realize the economic, industrial and other projects that had been their concern during their period as Saint-Simonians; their utopian projects were of course evacuated of the contestatory quality invested in them by militant Saint-Simonianism, and as such became indissociable from the operations of power in the Second Empire.

In seeking to account for the broader legacy of these SaintSimonian texts to literature, it may be appropriate then to shift attention towards the dispersal of expressive strategies of the type identified in this chapter throughout other contemporary discourses which respond to changes in the material environment of modernity. Since poetry, and more particularly, the evolution of poetic form, represents one of the most striking manifestations of response to such changes, it should be possible, in the context of a broader study, to determine how. Pierre Leroux and the Circulus: Soil, Socialism and Salvation in Nineteenth-Century France Ceri Crossley Abstract: This chapter examines attempts by the mid-nineteenthcentury French socialist Pierre Leroux to establish an alternative, reformist relationship between man and the earth, one that focussed in a disconcertingly literal way on the recycling of human excrement as an organic fertilizer.

This proved to be an original but futile challenge to both the growing chemical fertilizer industry and capitalist models of wealth circulation. At its most basic the circulus refers to the natural processes of ingestion, digestion and excretion. In nineteenth-century France, however, it took on a wider significance. The entry was largely composed of quotations from Leroux, although it drew attention to similarities between his views and those of the American economists Henry Charles Carey and Erasmus Peshire Smith I would like to record. His ideas concerning the circulus were formed in the s and s but they made their greatest impact during the Second Empire.

Like Victor Hugo, but in much more straitened circumstances, he spent much of his exile in the Channel Islands, returning to France after the amnesty of In his eyes the circulus gave priority to agriculture over industry, reconnected town and country, and inscribed humankind more generally within the processes of the natural world.

Ultimately, the circulus became a form of theodicy, disculpating God or Nature from responsibility for evil and injustice. Leroux also opposed the use of chemical fertilizers and, for this reason, he stands as a significant forerunner of the contemporary movement in organic farming. Philosophically Leroux belongs among the group of ageing Romantic humanitarians who, confronted by the rise of atheistic scientific materialism during the Second Empire, nevertheless held fast to their conviction that some form of belief in God was essential for the moral life to flourish.

He wrestled with the problem of evil and with the reality of suffering. See also S. Alexandrian, Le Socialisme romantique Paris: Seuil, , pp. What was to be done? Leroux did not side with those who, since the time of Pythagoras, had been arguing the case in favour of vegetarianism. His approach was different.

Rather than engage in principled revolt against the natural order of things he sought to impose upon it the transforming vision of the circulus. It offered an alternative to the discourse of mastery that characterized so much of nineteenth-century thought, to the discourse that represented humankind as a demi-god controlling nature, overcoming all resistance and requiring that matter submit to the dictates of mind. The idea of the circulus enabled the possible emergence of a new collaborative relationship between humans and their natural environment.

At the most elementary level Leroux was interested in improving the quality of the soil, an ambition that was shared by a host of contemporary agronomists in France and elsewhere in Europe. What new forms of manure could be employed? Leroux addressed these issues but, as we shall see, he went further and argued that the proper use of human excrement could effectively replace money and release humans from enslavement to the wage-based economy that was the mark of modern industrial societies.

He provides a breakdown of the costs in-. A key proposal involved pumping treated human sewage to the fields through a system a pipes. Jersey already had a drainage system but this dispersed human refuse and abattoir waste into the sea p. Indeed, Jersey had the potential to supplant France and Belgium when it came to supplying London with early vegetables, flowers and fresh fruit. His programme was ambitious since it envisaged that fresh water, sea water and liquid manure would all be made available throughout the island.

Leroux shared the enthusiasm of his contemporaries for improved hygiene, sanitation and public health. The introduction of new systems of waste disposal was held to mark the triumph of civilization. He discussed various initiatives supported by Prince Albert, quoted at length from the Report of the General Board of Health and took note of the contribution made by Charles Kingsley. Shortly afterwards, while visiting one of his sons who was studying at the agricultural college at Grignon,10 his mind became focussed on the idea that every creature produced enough excrement to sustain its own existence.

This led Leroux to conclude that increased agricultural production required. He noted that the risks for health were greater in France than in England on account of the fact that the French favoured cesspits and lacked the water closets and sewerage systems that were being installed in England although vast quantities of waste were still in fact polluting the Thames.

What particularly irked Leroux was that, when such ideas received attention in the public press, his views were either ignored or misrepresented. His answer was breathtakingly simple. Leroux was immensely proud of his grand idea but was saddened to discover that his political enemies trivialized and ridiculed his theories.

In France the idea was much debated and official trials were success-. Leroux was angered by a series of articles by Victor Meunier that, in his opinion, unfairly represented his authentically French, socialist ideas as so many foreign, English innovations. Leroux enjoyed casting himself in the role of a prophet crying in the wilderness but he did claim to have exerted some influence over Auguste Bella, the first director of the Institution Royale Agronomique p. Leroux was fully aware of developments elsewhere in Europe, notably the Kennedy system employed in Ayrshire to distribute animal manure to the fields.

Justus von Liebig played a decisive role in promoting the use of chemicals, publishing his hugely influential study, Chemistry in its Application to Agriculture, in Science appeared to have demonstrated that what depleted soils needed most was the renewal of their mineral content. Although in some of his later work Liebig revealed himself to be a staunch supporter of manure, his prestige in the s led many to conclude that the future of agriculture lay in the correct application of chemicals rather than organic matter.

See F. Brock, Justus von Liebig. He accepted that nitrogen-enriched manures could make a contribution but he repudiated any attempt to explain soil fertility exclusively in terms of the combination of chemicals. Leroux criticized the ideas of Jean Girardin and Alphonse du Breuil who claimed that plants grew best in a soil containing naturally occurring mineral salts mixed with an appropriate amount of humus. Equally in error, in his view, were those who followed Albrecht Thaer and urged the extensive use of animal as opposed to human manure.

Leroux observed that humans ate bread, not a mixture of flour and salt. And, like bread, the soil was alive and life-giving. To prove his point he put his own ideas into practice between and at the agricultural colony that he and a group of his supporters set up at Boussac in the Creuse as part of his project for a socialist printing works.

Twentieth-century proponents of organic farming often drew inspiration from communities in India and China that had traditionally returned human waste to the earth. Leroux was of the same opinion. He revered the Chinese as masters and praised them for having instigated a system of agriculture based on natural law. A chain of solidarity linked the animal, vegeta-. The editor of the review, Pierre Joigneaux, was a friend of Leroux. Regrettably, however, humans had broken with the order of nature.

Modern industrial society fostered division, competition and separation. Leroux argued that in future the exploitation of human waste should be handed over to public authorities interested in alleviating the condition of the poor and no longer entrusted to individuals driven by the desire for private gain. Again and again he denounced Malthus and his followers, accusing them of using an inadequate model of nature in order to lend legitimation to the cruel and heartless society created by industrialism.

Leroux wanted to reconstruct the social bond by reconnecting humans to the order of nature. This foregrounded connectivity. He started from the premise that the processes of digestion and excretion cannot adequately be understood in terms of the ways in which an organism extracts nutriments from ingested food before expelling the residue as.

In his view that which we perceive as mere waste has real value within the greater chain of solidarity. If only his ideas had been adopted by the Provisional Government of then, mused Leroux, the violence and bloodshed of the June days might have been avoided p. What needs to be stressed, however, is the extent that, for Leroux, the potential practical benefits arising from recycling human waste were part of a world vision founded upon the ideas of interdependence, reciprocity and solidarity.

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God did not intend that dead or waste matter should simply be discarded. Human manure should be returned to the earth in order to enrich the soil and aid the production of food. Death was not absolutely necessary in order for life to continue. The products of excretion, far from being without worth, were intended to fulfil a positive role within the cycle of life. Leroux challenged received opinion regarding the status of urine and excrement.

He argued that it was incorrect to draw too sharp a distinction between excretion and secretion, compared urine with milk and regretted that he had not been able to write a study on the consumption of urine as he had once intended p. Leroux explained that when food passed through the alimentary canal something more complex than straightforward assimilation took place. Something new was actually added during the process p. Bichat had not grasped the relationship between the large intestine and the caecum p. Berzelius, on the other hand, received praise on the grounds that he had noted that something new was added during the passage of ingested matter through the intestines p.

Again and again Leroux reinforced this point that life was supported by a set of interlinked bodily functions. Animal waste that was returned to the earth enriched the soil. Cats and certain other carnivorous animals instinctively covered their excrement because they knew that it needed to be mixed with minerals and vegetable matter in order to become productive.

He was alert to similarities and analogies. He seized upon some remarks made by the Swiss botanist Augustin Pyrame de Candolle who had discovered the presence of small lumps that resembled excreta on the root systems of certain plants. Leroux argued that it was the excrement discharged by one type of plant that made the soil fertile when another species grew there. Humans should follow the example set by the plants and animals and return their own excrement to the land.

He accepted that decaying vegetable matter produced humus but he contended that this, on its own, was. Discussion of such matters was current among specialists.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Truly fertile soil was a combination of animal, vegetable and mineral elements. The man who used his own faeces to make soil and grow food completed the circle of life and reintegrated humankind within the purposeful totality of living things. Were such practices to become generalized then there would be enough meat and good quality bread to support an increasing population p.

It would be like a return to Eden. However, the implications of the theory of the circulus went beyond the eradication of hunger. It constituted a religious truth and inspired faith p. The Word was to be preached abroad and enacted in practical living p. In his younger days Leroux had been a Saint-Simonian. Central to Saint-Simonian doctrine had been the desire to rehabilitate matter, to restore to the material universe the value that had traditionally been denied to it by the Christian tradition. When it came to transforming and using nature Leroux implied that humankind should act wisely and take account of the bonds that linked the microcosm and the macrocosm p.

The error of the Malthusians had been to ignore the true message of nature; genuine social progress involved respecting natural law, uniting with the general movement of the cosmos. However, while this indicated that the future for France lay in agriculture rather than industry, Leroux was not by any means a Luddite. After all, his plans for the distribution of manure required the construction of complex systems of piping designed to run alongside railway lines. The whole was greater than the sum of the parts but the parts needed to combine with each other in order for the whole to thrive and prosper.

Healthy soil, as we have seen, was a composite that arose from a collaborative process. Were this not to be the case then the landscape would run the risk of being suffocated beneath an increasingly thick layer of human guano. It also answered the Maistrian vision of life on earth as generalized violence, death and consumption. Here was a chain of consumption and production that involved giving and receiving. Leroux was convinced that his vision. He explained that an individual plant, interested exclusively in its own survival, would soon perish.

Selfishness decreased the chances of survival. To imagine that a plant selfishly drew water and minerals from the surrounding soil and then repaid its debts to the earth when its leaves finally fell to the ground was to betray a singular misunderstanding of the workings of nature. In reality, continued Leroux, the fallen leaves fertilized the soil for the wider benefit of other plants.

The continuance of life on earth rested on similar complex processes of sharing and exchanging. Malthus had correctly recognized the infinite fertility of living things but he had not grasped the true character of natural law. Nature was debased and traduced when its processes were used in order to lend legitimacy to economic liberalism. It was quite wrong to draw an analogy between nature and a banker who was interested in profit and loss and expected to be repaid p.

The operation of the circulus worked against the exploitation of the weak by the powerful. It was intrinsically anti-hierarchical in character. Benabid and R. Waste matter underwent a metamorphosis as it transformed the soil into that which it was intended to be. Leroux epitomized the Romantic desire to redefine the relationship between infinity and the finite, time and eternity, heaven and earth, matter and spirit, the sacred and the profane.

He believed that his contemporaries needed a new unifying faith and he attempted to construct it, blending humanitarianism with nationalism, the revolutionary idea with perfectibility, equality and solidarity with individual freedom and private property. Subjectivement, objectivement, nous trouvons Dieu. Its operation disrupted received definitions of spirit and matter, purity and impurity. It allowed the emergence of new definitions of labour, capital and consumption.

The feelings of disgust, revulsion and shame engendered by the sight of waste did not tell the whole story. As if by magic, the circulus converted sterility into fertility, base matter into something of positive value. By attending to the soil and to the nature of its composition humans could learn important truths, not only about agriculture, but also about themselves and the organization of society. He was interested in animal welfare insofar as he objected to cows being kept permanently in stalls p. Freud speculated on the causes of modern psychopathologies by figuring the mind as an ancient city in ruins.

He postulated that, like an archaeological site, the modern mind is structured in temporal layers and that forgotten or repressed events from the past can be reconstructed from fragmentary remains. In this new, archaeological figuration of the mind, Freud challenged the conventional Enlightenment conception of it as unitary, rational and master of its conscious will. Let us try to grasp what this assumption involves by taking an analogy from another field. We will choose as an example the history of the Eternal City.

If [the observer] knows enough — more than present day archaeology does — he may perhaps be able to trace out in the plan of the city the whole course of [the wall of Aurelian] and outline of the Roma Quadrata. This is the manner in which the past is preserved in historical sites like Rome. Now let us, by a flight of imagination, suppose that Rome is not a human habitation but a psychical entity with a similarly long and copious past — an entity, that is to say, in which nothing that has come into existence will have passed away and all the earlier phases of development continue to exist alongside the latest one.

Literature has in the modern academy become the poor cousin of the social sciences, although many contemporary social sciences, including sociology, psychology and even psychoanalysis, originally emerged from literary observations and figurations. Freud was a voracious reader of literature and shamelessly lifted metaphors, analogies and mythical figures in developing his various models of the unconscious mind.

Like Freud, Balzac was obsessed with archaeology and archaeological modes of narration. Also like Freud, Balzac discovered powerful heuristic potential in archaeology as he began to suspect that adult psychopathologies were secretly rooted in forgotten or repressed childhood events.

One major. Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents, trans. For Balzac, modern French consciousness emerges in its fragmented, modern state as it crosses the historical and epistemic divide between old and new France. Most prominent are, of course, nobles or provincials who remain attached to their archaic traditions although they live, often unwittingly, in modern environments.

Put differently, moral archaeology permitted Balzac to study human reality by adopting a sociological or anthropological approach, and thus to determine culturally-determined causes of behavioural effects. The Balzacian unconscious is not yet, how-. Balzac, like Freud, was probably atheist, considering the metaphysical substance of religion a simple illusion.

As a moral archaeologist, however, he clearly recognized the residual influence of Old Regime customs on modern consciousness. It is this contradiction between the myths of modernity individualism, rationalism, freedom from Catholicism, etc. X, He illustrates the process of fragmentation and internal repression that contemporary consciousnesses experienced in crossing the epochal threshold from Old Regime to modernity.

Passionate about archaeology himself, Freud openly declared in Constructions in Analysis its importance in his invention of psychoanalytic methodology and narrative. To apply psychoanalysis to Balzac. Our hypothesis is that the narrative, textual and imagistic fragmentation characterizing the text is not gratuitous and does not necessarily correspond to a postmodern or poststructuralist point of view. The narrator, by contrast, is a debauched mondain in nineteenth-century Paris.

Cet objet est le corps humain. The narrator is, indeed, able to offer only a partial and incomplete idea of his object despite the excessively long — even obsessive — description of him. The old man is represented as a fragmented vestige from another era, but the key element that would give finality to the portrait remains missing. The puzzle pieces that the narrator presents in the first half of the narrative the description of the Lanty family, the fragmented condition of the old man, the picture of the Adonis, etc.

The abrupt crossing of temporal and geographical frontiers corresponds to the internal rupture of consciousness marking the separation between Sarrasine and the narrator. Attached to Catholic France figured geographically by the still Catholic nineteenth-century Italy where Sarrasine discovers transcen-. The narrator does not immediately reveal the content of these two disparate worlds which he views as a banality of modern Parisian life, nor does he explain the psychological division between life and death or between the exterior and interior worlds.

This internal division may be connected to his catastrophic experience with the old man since his perspective on him is also radically divided. On the other, the old man is dead, in ruins, a spirit, a ghost, a source of cold, darkly-clothed and smelling of a cemetery. The anonymous narrator, a double of Sarrasine, emerges resuscitated from death and endeavours to explain the cause and the consequences of the spiritual catastrophe to others. His narratorial dilemma is that his nineteenth-century reading-public will be perplexed or scandalized by his love object, since he had fallen in love with a man.

It is un-. Understanding this lost illusion involves great difficulty, and is not without certain dangers. In order to avoid an immediate scandal and gain the confidence of modern readers, Sarrasine takes cover under his own death, doubling and obscuring himself behind the anonymous narrator while hiding the identity of his ideal love object behind a feminine appearance.

In other words, he transforms his loss of religious love into a hoax love story, recounted anonymously and in the third-person, about how Sarrasine fell in love with an opera singer, a castrato disguised as a woman. At the thematic level, we could easily conclude that the narrator does not master his story. But is the scandal awaiting Rochefide i. For what narrator would publicly recount his own failure if there were not some hidden and more serious objective?

That the obvious scandal i. The old, displaced emotions associated with la Zambinella surge forth into consciousness, reminding him of. Why would this be if he had not been formerly so attached to the totality? Chronologically, the destruction of Lisbon came first and acted as the trigger for what followed. By the Portuguese capital had been in decline for some time and no longer occupied an important place on the European stage. It nonetheless retained a certain prestige, since gold and riches from the Americas still fired the contemporary imagination.

More generally, however, the razing of the city to the ground was a commonplace of the scientific imagination of the time. The Ancients remained an important source of information about earthquakes in earlier periods. In fact, up to , the academicians were particularly well informed about regions outside France, even outside Europe. References to seismic activity in European countries were limited to citing Portugal in and Italy in , two references and For instance, the former.

This school of geography necessarily privileged destructive earthquakes and the terrifying descriptions of them. Moreover, for Parisian readers, the remoteness of these phenomena could only enhance their extraordinary character. Devastating events fuelled the debate about the effects of earthquakes, a classic question that Descartes had revisited in the seventeenth century. According to his enquiries, earthquakes could not shake the foundations of the globe because they were only the result of superfi-. Seismic activity was regular in the Lisbon area, the city having suffered seven earthquakes in the fourteenth century, seven again in the sixteenth century, three of which were very violent 1, houses destroyed in ; 2, dead in ; three streets swallowed up in , a further three in the seventeenth century, and two more in the first half of the eighteenth century in and In France, news-sheets, periodicals and literary texts prior to do not mention Lisbon or Portugal as seismic zones, whereas earthquakes occurring in Italy and the Eastern Mediterranean are frequently cited.

In the stories published about it, the seismic violence overshadows the tsunami and the fire which nonetheless caused the majority of the devastation. An Unprecedented Participation in the Event Contemporaries were as much struck by the tremors that affected Europe for several months afterwards as they were by the Lisbon earthquake itself. The effects of the seism of 1 November were. All the inhabitants of northern Europe at one time or another felt the earth shake in the months following the Lisbon earthquake.

A single German source from the Eifel region counted eighty-eight tremors between December and March The rector of the Jesuit college at Brigue recorded tremors from 9 December to 26 February , leaving only twenty-six days free of seismic activity out of a total of eighty, with 9 December proving the most active, punctuated by a tremor almost every half-hour.

A good number of French priests note in the parish registers the coincidence of an earth tremor felt in their village with the shock visited on Lisbon. Les secousses des 26 et Paola Albini et Andrea Moroni Milan: , vol. More attentive to seismic phenomena, recording them with more sophistication and relating them to one another with greater consistency, observers at the time convinced themselves that the shocks were becoming more frequent after The finest scientific instance of this is arguably provided by Philippe Buache himself when Paris was hit by a tremor on 18 February The MSK scale is a measure of macroseismic intensity, that is, it registers the intensity of a shock on the basis of its effects on buildings and people.

It is used in France and in the majority of European countries because it is suited to regions of low seismicity. It comprises twelve degrees, but should not be confused with the more famous Richter scale which measures the magnitude of an earthquake, quantifying the power of a shock as represented by the energy radiating from the epicentre in the form of seismic waves. Burns, Jeanne X. In nature forged in a quite singular way a connection between a distant event and its Europe-wide audience. This connection enabled a remote yet almost instantaneous participation in the event, a characteristic, according to Pierre Nora, more commonly associated with the modern media.

The Lisbon earthquake therefore realized an unprecedented unification of European society, something possibly without equal before the outbreak of the French Revolution. Consequently, there was a shift in the perception of nature, a new sensibility to tremors, something clearly manifest in the numerous journals which re-. The increase in incidence of earthquakes gave rise to a new literary genre: telluric tables or journals.

This wealth of contemporary information fuelled the philosophical debate about the nature of evil, but very often went far beyond this too. When Scientists Interrogate the Earth From onwards earthquakes provoked fierce debate in the physical sciences, a debate rivalling in intensity the metaphysical polemics over the presence of evil in the world. Deslandes Amsterdam; Paris: Jean-Paul Poirier, Cahiers philosophiques, mars , pp. How could an event occurring in Lisbon be felt at the very same instant thousands of miles from there? Having previously sought to address the role of earthquakes in Earth history, existing models of thought were unable to answer the question.

Of course, they cite them and borrow widely from them; but borrowings and citations relate to specific, quite concrete, points. Earthquakes were still a poorly constituted object of knowledge, since they did not belong to any single branch of science, and since it was impossible to prove the explanations put forward for them. The History and philosophy of earthquakes, collected from the best writers on the subject by a member of the Royal Academy of Berlin with a particular account of the great one of November, the 1st in various parts of the globe London: , p.

The shocks of the s elicited quite an array of novel scientific approaches, with each being put to the test in order to determine the best theoretical model. As the scientific domain was neither fully professionalized nor totally discrete, the public nature of the debate legitimized each and every intervention. Le Monnier also noted that an electrical current crossed an expanse of water, such as the pond in the Tuileries gardens, without losing any of its power.

Even more spectacular experiments were carried out in this vein by Jean Jallabert around Lake Geneva and by William Watson and other members of the Royal Society in London in when they would send currents across rivers by means of two iron bars plunged simultaneously into the water. A New Way of Looking at Nature The problem posed by earthquakes was not only theoretical but also practical: the tremors of necessitated new methods of investigation.

In order properly to study the scale and distribution of this phenomenon, a greatly increased number of observations were needed, as it was no longer viable to limit data to a single account specific to its locality. Each scientist had therefore to collate information by calling on his network of correspondents. In Paris this meant putting together an overview drawn from various localities across the country — Aix, Toulouse, Sedan, Beaune, and many more besides.

This empirical history in fact started in the s when scientists first encountered earthquakes in France. These low-to-moderate intensity phenomena were more numerous than had previously been thought, forcing scientists to construct new grids of reference and appropriate procedures for observing them. Je les jugeai sur la direction des oscillations de quelques corps suspendus du sud-est au.

To the initial reporting framework were added the lapse of time between shocks, their direction, the weather conditions air pressure, temperature, wind direction, etc. Knowing the time at which an earthquake struck was fundamental. A simultaneous shock occurring at two different points allowed scientists to conclude that they were dealing with the same phenomenon and a single cause. If a slight chronological discrepancy existed between the shocks, this focussed investigations on the physical mechanics of the earthquake: how did a shock occurring at a central point spread?

What was the speed of its propagation? Such questions demanded an increased level of precision in order to corroborate proofs, calculate velocities and establish the physical geography of an area. Scientific accounts of the time paid close attention to determining the direction of land movements where these occurred so as to arrive at a more general understanding of the phenomenon. Directions of land movements indicated the epicentre of earthquakes and synthesizing this sort of information enabled scientists to link up spatially dispersed events.

Measuring the duration of shocks provided yet another element of comparison as well as suggesting further trails of enquiry for geophysical theory. It was and is still an implicit means of assessing the intensity of the shock. Empirically, contemporaries believed that the duration of the tremor determined, among other things, the extent of the material damage sustained.

The procedure for observing seismic activity spread remarkably quickly. The first group to be affected by this comprised provincial academicians and their official and unofficial correspondents. At the time of the seismic activity of , and thereafter, numerous individuals recorded observations and presented them to scientific bodies.

Neither were the lower orders excluded from this geological craze, even in the countryside. This contraption, the mechanics of which remain a mystery, must have travelled between the regional fairs. Already the tremors of the s were accompanied by exuberant displays of collective interest up and down the kingdom. Yet if there were seismophiles, there were also seismophobes. A scholar from Bordeaux, one M. The earthquake of 10 August that year provided him with the opportunity to demonstrate that electrical theories could explain seismic motion.

His audience, however, preferred to believe that his invocations were somehow linked to the catastrophe which had just struck the city, and rose up against the physicist whose apparatus only just escaped destruction. Klincksieck, , p. Conclusion With the Lisbon disaster, natural catastrophe became an historical event. It was no longer one among many other interchangeable signifiers of Nature, or of the natural world, grounding its meaning in an ahistorical transcendence.

Catastrophe here moved away from its etymological sense of a theatrical denouement which promises at once a new beginning. The secularization of catastrophe had less to do with a wholesale rejection of religious connotations that it did with the transformation of catastrophe into a contingent event occurring at a specific time and in a specific place. The historicization of natural catastrophe established a new relation with the present. For the first time in centuries the degree of risk deemed acceptable by mankind had changed; in escalating a sense of risk in society at large, the Lisbon earthquake of opened the way for other dangers to become quantifiable risks, from volcanic eruptions to the incidence of lead poisoning.

For the first time too, the impact of the events in Lisbon brought into direct contact the localized experience of disaster and the nationwide debates about it, thereby giving a voice to sections of the population who previously had had little or none. The politicization of the catastrophe in Lisbon also collapsed the safe distance that had hitherto separated sovereigns from natural disasters; these latter would henceforth represent crises capa-. Ultimately, natural catastrophe also became a socal issue, giving rise to contrasting and concurrent interpretations of its meaning.

The debt we owe to Lisbon lies elsewhere, specifically in the inscription of natural catastrophe in the historical process, thereby founding the western conception of historical progress as a gradual liberation of humankind from the twin dangers of Nature and Evil. Yet — as we are discovering today — increasingly sophisticated and complex societies generate a new order of vulnerability, often greater than that experienced in the past. Concentrations of several million people, equipped with expensive technological systems and an ultramodern network of communications, are ultimately fragile things.

Risk and death are part of the normal functioning of any social system, hence the urgency of being aware of them and of protecting oneself in advance. The utopian idea, often seen as accompanying the Lisbon disaster, that we might one day triumph over nature, has to be abandoned. On this point, we still have a lot to learn from the events in Lisbon over years ago.

Stuttgart: Frommann, , V, pp. Headed by a vignette of the workshop or shop front, and followed by exploded diagrams of machinery and equipment, successive plates display the processes, equipment and products of each art in ever-increasing detail, with the aim of enabling the reader to comprehend even the most complex of procedures. Each individual item, each human figure, is labelled and explained in the accompanying notes. Diderot: Correspondance, ed. Kafker and Serena L.

They soon turned my head with a new system of antediluvian deluges, which they have invented to prove the eternity of matter. The Baron is persuaded that Pall Mall is paved with lava or deluge stones. His well-regarded art collection, moreover, although it may well have been just one more element in the lifestyle of a wealthy philosophe, also suggests an aesthetic interest in the mineralogical plates above and beyond their scientific context.

Lewis, Robert A. Smith, and Charles H. Lewis and Robert A. Smith , p. Instead of a vignette followed by a successive enumeration and elaboration of the tools and machinery involved, these plates consist mainly of single images, with few of the illustrative techniques of breaking down and peering used in the plates on the mechanical arts.

Compared with the dynamic depiction of the processes involved in human industry, these plates may at first glance appear static, offering little understanding of the processes at work within Nature beyond an aesthetic depiction of their visible effects. Certainly, much of this has to do with the nature of the subject presented and the development of mineralogy as a science in the mid-eighteenth century. Although some geological cross-sections are to be found in seventeenth-century texts, these tended to illustrate cosmological or cosmogonical theories rather than observation-based representations of a particular locale; it was not until the mid-eighteenth century that stratographical depictions of particular regions began to be published in works on the study of the Earth.

New Earth and the New Heavens. The varied provenance of these plates reveals in itself the variety of contexts in which the eighteenth century related to the natural world. London: Penguin, , pp. Schwab, Walter E. Some images were lifted from a growing body of literature on natural history available to the general reading public, although such borrowing sometimes gave little regard to the original context of the images used. Alongside growing scientific examination of volcanoes, a trip to Vesuvius was a key stop for Grand Tourists, and volcanoes also occupied a central place in eighteenthcentury European painting, dramatic night-time explosions offering artists the opportunity to use the contrast of light and shade to spectacular effect fig.

At first sight, however, the presence of humanity in the plates is easily overlooked. Even without their titles, there is little question as to what the plates are purporting to show. Perez and Pinault, p. The image of the Grindelwald glacier fig. Thus, in one of the plates on volcanic eruptions fig.

That this contextualizing of natural phenomena within the framework of human activity was sometimes deliberate, and not simply the result of borrowing ready-drawn images from other sources, is evident from one of the plates depicting Auvergne basalt fig. On the left of the image stands a man contemplating the vast rock face: although dwarfed by the basalt columns, his field of vision neatly encompasses the entirety of the fa-. In this way, the awesome basalt columns which initially seem to dominate the image are appropriated and cut down to a manageable size by human vision; and completing this process, a group of people converse at the very foot of the rock face, seemingly undaunted by its size and treating it almost as little more than a convenient backdrop to the important business of social interaction.

On peut voir dans la Planche, fig. A, que ces articulations forment comme une couronne antique. XII, Crookshank, The Painters of Ireland, p. These plates on mineralogy, then, can be seen to represent the variety of ways in which the eighteenth century related to the natural world.

The relationship between man and nature operated within the contexts of industry, leisure activity, and scientific endeavour, and thus Nature was variously a resource to be managed, a spectacle to be admired, and an object to be examined. In early modern Europe marshes and fens were commonly perceived as places of fear and loathing. Other dangers included getting lost in their featureless expanses, or flooding destroying nearby cultivations and manufactures. Contemporary observers of bogs and fen often imputed the abhorrent nature of the physical environment to the moral character of its inhabitants.

However, in England, and yet more so in France, the main source of social and political conflict in the wetlands of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was land rights. This habitually turned on peasants challenging seigneurial attempts to appropriate, clear or drain areas traditionally considered to be common land. This wasteland was used to graze small numbers of livestock; it was also a source of water, fuel, often in the form of peat, or bedding in the form of rushes or reeds. Yet resistance could also be fierce and violent, as in the smashing of sluices in seventeenth-century Lincolnshire, or the reported stoning and burning in effigy of a local drainage agent on the Somerset Levels in They were used for the summer grazing of livestock, especially cattle and sheep; they were home to geese reared for quill and duvet manufacturing; they were hunted for wildfowl, eel and fish; if surrounding cultivation needed draining, it was drained by ridgeand-furrow ploughing.

And where the geology allowed, they were, of course, exploited for peat. Peat is essentially the accumulated remains of dead plants, trees and other vegetal matter. Modern scientific analysis has found that it is ninety-nine percent organic in composition, of which at least eighty per cent is combustible when dried out.

Taking as his example the peat fields of Flanders, the great naturalist Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon concluded that peat was produced by violent sea flooding of the coastal regions which uprooted all trees and vegetation in the area. This vegetal matter was then overlain by sea waters under which it compressed and rotted. As the sea eventually receded from this part of western Europe, the peat deposits were dragged together to accumulate and concentrate.

Purseglove, Taming the Flood, p. Unfortunately, if these reclaimed lands were not then immediately cultivated, drainage could prove counter-productive and costly. For the exposed and desiccated peat is prone to shrinkage, wastage and oxidation occasioned by contact with the air, a process which is also accelerated by bacterial action. In eighteenth-century England, this lesson was quickly learnt, and drained peatlands were quickly ploughed, limed, manured and harrowed with a fodder crop, usually oats or potatoes. See M. Delisle de Sales, De la philosophie de la nature, 3 vols Paris: , I, p.

The dung is carried onto the moorlands by a single-horse cart along a drained and gravelled track which is also used for removing crops later from the reclaimed land. The formation of the larger marshlands in Western Europe was generally attributed to the action of the sea. Buffon claims that a prehistoric isthmus or land-bridge. As the sea receded in this part of the world, these coastal deposits were both spread over large areas and rose out of the subsiding waters. As Jeremy Black remarks, the Physiocrats had a point inasmuch as all contemporary manufacturing processes used only natural products and hence, at some point in the chain of production, relied on agricultural activity for their raw materials.

Were not peasant fallows, furlong farming and ridge-and-furrow draining on a par with Gothic. Jeremy Black, Eighteenth-Century Europe, 2nd ed. London: Macmillan, , p. Their short agricultural tours of Suffolk and Norfolk in the July and September of that year, in the company of Young, convinced the brothers of the superiority of English agricultural methods: its innovative crop rotation system which did not require land to lie fallow, its comprehensive use of enclosure, its novel use of carrots and turnips as fodder crops on reclaimed fenland, and its consequent concentration of livestock farming.

Jean Marchand, trans. Roberts London: Caliban Books, , pp. Already at the start of the seventeenth century, Henri IV of France had invited and paid Dutch engineers to oversee the reclamation of large areas of marsh in the Somme estuary, the lower reaches of the Seine and in Normandy. Another controversial Dutchman, Cornelius Vermuyden, performed the same function in England, draining Hatfield Close, south of the Humber estuary, from to He also advanced projects for similar massive draining of the Somerset Levels, although these were never executed.

La Rochefoucauld, A Frenchman in England, p. Nonetheless, financial greed was not in itself a great enough incentive to drive the early modern processes of wetland draining, clearance and cultivation. Exploiting the general reputation of marshes and bogs as places of evil and infamy, religion and public morality were also invoked as reasons for their reclamation. By the English reclaimers of the Fens had imported from Holland the technique of using windmill-powered pumps to drain the wetlands.

It was not, however, until much later in the century that a further discovery and subsequent innovation in draining expanded the practice of wetland reclamation, first in Britain and then on the Continent. This discovery took place near Leamington Spa in when a local farmer, Joseph Elkington, solved the problem of underdrainage, that is, of clearing not just the surface waters from an area of wetland but of siphoning off low-level underground water tables by tapping and diverting their springs.

In the British Parliament awarded Elkington the hand-.

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Black, Eighteenth-Century Europe, p. Le Roy Ladurie, J. Berchtold, J. Generally, they were most effective where there were large local labour forces. This is understandable not only because drainage was a labour-intensive process, but also because it was in heavily populated areas that the demand was greatest for increased agricultural production and hence for more land on which to provide it.

The population increase in Britain and France, especially after , was at once the cause of wetland reclamation and a means to effect it. In France the population rose from around 21 million in to If this was the English model, it also began to be widely adopted in France in the late eighteenth century. In Normandy, for instance, a better supply of fodder crops from reclaimed lands, including marshes, encouraged animal husbandry, especially with regard to cattle; the cattle in turn produced. Purseglove, Taming the Flood, pp. McManners, Death and the Enlightenment, p.

Strahan, T. Cadell, , pp. That the English model was dominant would appear to be proven by the fact that in , at the height of hostilities between Britain and France, the revolutionary Directoire commissioned an eighteen-volume translation of selected agronomic works by Young, published under the title, Le Cultivateur anglois. Two points seem most salient in conclusion. Firstly, the technical advances which had initially facilitated wetland draining and enclosure were the prelude to yet greater technical advances in land management which ultimately deterred farmers from reclaiming marsh and fen; instead they opted for less expensive, less labour-intensive means of increasing productivity, such as buying into the bourgeoning nineteenth-century fertilizer industry.

Combined with more frequent, cheaper foreign imports of foodstuffs, this second wave of the agricultural revolution left a lot of reclaimed wetland derelict, although it took a long time, if ever, to return to its former state of natural equilibrium. Secondly, and conversely, industrialization, with all its concomitant political and economic crises, far from sounding the death knell of peat farming, actually intensified interest in it as a low-grade fossil fuel source. By France was actually exporting , tonnes of peat a year at a price of more than ten francs per tonne.

Yet, more happily, the twentieth century also saw towards its end a belated recognition that wetlands were to be valued and conserved as unique natural wildernesses — ironically in. These developments also offered a model for the elaboration of utopian political spaces which could dissolve the traditional opposition between nature and technology, a model that the SaintSimonians in particular were keen to adopt. With the recording of new topographical information at the beginning of the nineteenth century, cartographers were able to produce an authoritative new map depicting France as a unified spatial entity.

As Antoine Picon has shown, the task of developing this newly-defined territory fell to the modern corps of civil engineers. Their project of social regeneration centred on a vast programme of public works,. While Saint-Simonian propaganda had invested heavily in specialist technical literature throughout the s, promoting in particular in the newspapers Le Globe and Le Producteur the civil and industrial benefits of such subjects as mechanical and civil engineering, under Enfantin the group soon became desirous of a less didactically structured and more generally sensually persuasive presentation of its programme for development.

One of the principal objectives of the retreat was the writing of the Livre nouveau des Saint-Simoniens, a manuscript intended as a prophetic synthesis of human knowledge. The work broaches a vast number of themes, reflected in its successive discussions of the liberation of woman, the potential social applications of electricity, mathematics, stereotomy and physiology, and the histories of language and literature.

Like Enfantin, Chevalier suggests that the vibrancy of their language enables their absorption into their material surroundings; these individuals are thus able to imagine new configurations of objects and environments. Such vatic utterances by Enfantin and his disciples in the Livre nouveau inform a range of rhapsodic prose tracts and poems composed by prominent Saint-Simonians such as Chevalier and Duveyrier. This might be described as a sort of lyrical country planning according to which the earth is seen as a body whose udders can be milked and whose entrails can be explored.

Duveyrier insists on sensual contact as a point of departure for poetic practice; he opines that by moving toward a form of expression constituted by the contact of the senses with the material world, the poet will sense an empathy with his surroundings that is unadulterated by Romantic melancholy and discover new sources of linguistic dynamism.

Duveyrier calls for a rejuvenation of poetic language and a type of poetic prose that would supposedly restore an immediacy of contact with the Earth and more authentically convey the chaos of sense impressions. This concern with conveying immediate and uninterrupted sensual and visual stimulation registers in the massively inclusive poetic gaze adopted in his poems. Such richly contrastive images are already inscribed in the topography of this imagined Paris that the gaze is never permitted to settle on and internalize what is glimpsed; Duveyrier seems to suggest that any meditative intervention would disturb the sensual pleasure of vision.

Massive urban development does not give rise to the sort of melancholy and nostalgia later evoked by Baudelaire. Instead, such rapid change affords surprising visual contrasts and stimulates new configurations of sensation, whose pleasureable effects on the speaker nourish his empathy with the changing environment. Meanwhile, the third example presents the reader with a figure of visual fragmentation. The tensions generated by the new configuration of urban and rural features are also active on a stylistic level in the poem.

Competition for the poetic gaze occurs, prompting a spontaneous borrowing from diverse registers. Composed of a network of nerve endings, the solar plexus is promoted since it presents a figure of immediate, delocalized sensation. Duveyrier is keen to emphasize the interplay of the internal vitality of the individual and its external milieu, hinting that poetic subjectivity emerges at the point of contact between the subject and a complex and continually changing material environment.

Here colour, texture and shape are augmented, setting the objects viewed in a new light and reflecting a novel organization of experience. On a thematic level, the text presents an alliance of technological advance with sensual excitement and exoticism. Its enumeration of a telegraph pole, lightning conductor, lighthouse, gaslights and other technical additions to the edifice artificially stimulate. In the interior of the temple the poet glimpses steppes and savannahs, coconut trees and the Imperial Canal of China. Elsewhere, sensual stimuli are foregrounded via the inclusion of exotic motifs, notably in stanza Sixteen; here the encounter with Arabs, Chinese, Malays and Tartars is accompanied by coffee, tea, perfumes and feasts.

One of the most metrically uniform passages of the poem occurs between stanzas Six and Eight, where line lengths range between seven, eight and nine syllables. Unexpectedly, the movement inside and underground does not correspond to spatial economy or to a narrowing of viewpoint. In normal circumstances a preposition serves to indicate the temporal, spatial or logical relationship of its object to the rest of the sentence.

What results is a kind of parataxis par contre-coup, according to which the accumulation of prepositions actually isolates each phrase from the main clause, with the effect that successive images are juxtaposed. As the poet-observer experiences it, the world of the temple seems to be governed by contingency; however the act of repetition achieves a mesmerizing totality of effect which envelops him in the scene. In Le Livre nouveau, Enfantin is attentive to the potential applications of contemporary developments in the science of elasticity, suggesting that future architectural designs would place less importance on adherence to principles of spatial form and composition inherited from Greek and Roman architecture and more recent neoclassicism.

This formal peculiarity reflects a more flexible attitude to the conventional metric forms of the Alexandrine and the octosyllable. Together with the thematic incursion of pastoral motifs into urban scenes, and of that of the vegetal into the architectural, these formal and thematic aspects of the text combine to suggest the potential for new poetic forms to emerge organically around the armature of older variants. By consequence, the poem seems to incite the reader to develop a panoramic perspective similar to that of the spectator it describes. Like the spectator, such a reader would not focus on individual elements but would cultivate a more immediate, panoramic perspective on the text.

This ideological ambition, with its implicit dismissal of individual imaginative consciousness, goes some way to explaining the ostensibly scant appeal of such Saint-Simonian visions of the future as a source of inspiration for creative writers of the period, for in reality, the SaintSimonians were attempting to discover new, more persuasive bases for the articulation of a discursive regime.

Moreover, SaintSimonianism as political force entered a period of decline from the late s onwards, and a considerable number of one-time members of the group such as Chevalier and Duveyrier came to be reconciled to the dominant political power.

Politics, Metaphysics and Religion

Yet these individuals continued to pursue and realize the economic, industrial and other projects that had been their concern during their period as Saint-Simonians; their utopian projects were of course evacuated of the contestatory quality invested in them by militant Saint-Simonianism, and as such became indissociable from the operations of power in the Second Empire.

In seeking to account for the broader legacy of these SaintSimonian texts to literature, it may be appropriate then to shift attention towards the dispersal of expressive strategies of the type identified in this chapter throughout other contemporary discourses which respond to changes in the material environment of modernity. Since poetry, and more particularly, the evolution of poetic form, represents one of the most striking manifestations of response to such changes, it should be possible, in the context of a broader study, to determine how.

Pierre Leroux and the Circulus: Soil, Socialism and Salvation in Nineteenth-Century France Ceri Crossley Abstract: This chapter examines attempts by the mid-nineteenthcentury French socialist Pierre Leroux to establish an alternative, reformist relationship between man and the earth, one that focussed in a disconcertingly literal way on the recycling of human excrement as an organic fertilizer. This proved to be an original but futile challenge to both the growing chemical fertilizer industry and capitalist models of wealth circulation. At its most basic the circulus refers to the natural processes of ingestion, digestion and excretion.

In nineteenth-century France, however, it took on a wider significance. The entry was largely composed of quotations from Leroux, although it drew attention to similarities between his views and those of the American economists Henry Charles Carey and Erasmus Peshire Smith I would like to record.

His ideas concerning the circulus were formed in the s and s but they made their greatest impact during the Second Empire. Like Victor Hugo, but in much more straitened circumstances, he spent much of his exile in the Channel Islands, returning to France after the amnesty of In his eyes the circulus gave priority to agriculture over industry, reconnected town and country, and inscribed humankind more generally within the processes of the natural world.

Ultimately, the circulus became a form of theodicy, disculpating God or Nature from responsibility for evil and injustice. Leroux also opposed the use of chemical fertilizers and, for this reason, he stands as a significant forerunner of the contemporary movement in organic farming. Philosophically Leroux belongs among the group of ageing Romantic humanitarians who, confronted by the rise of atheistic scientific materialism during the Second Empire, nevertheless held fast to their conviction that some form of belief in God was essential for the moral life to flourish.

He wrestled with the problem of evil and with the reality of suffering. See also S. Alexandrian, Le Socialisme romantique Paris: Seuil, , pp. What was to be done? Leroux did not side with those who, since the time of Pythagoras, had been arguing the case in favour of vegetarianism. His approach was different. Rather than engage in principled revolt against the natural order of things he sought to impose upon it the transforming vision of the circulus.

It offered an alternative to the discourse of mastery that characterized so much of nineteenth-century thought, to the discourse that represented humankind as a demi-god controlling nature, overcoming all resistance and requiring that matter submit to the dictates of mind. The idea of the circulus enabled the possible emergence of a new collaborative relationship between humans and their natural environment.

At the most elementary level Leroux was interested in improving the quality of the soil, an ambition that was shared by a host of contemporary agronomists in France and elsewhere in Europe. What new forms of manure could be employed? Leroux addressed these issues but, as we shall see, he went further and argued that the proper use of human excrement could effectively replace money and release humans from enslavement to the wage-based economy that was the mark of modern industrial societies.

He provides a breakdown of the costs in-. A key proposal involved pumping treated human sewage to the fields through a system a pipes. Jersey already had a drainage system but this dispersed human refuse and abattoir waste into the sea p. Indeed, Jersey had the potential to supplant France and Belgium when it came to supplying London with early vegetables, flowers and fresh fruit. His programme was ambitious since it envisaged that fresh water, sea water and liquid manure would all be made available throughout the island.

Leroux shared the enthusiasm of his contemporaries for improved hygiene, sanitation and public health. The introduction of new systems of waste disposal was held to mark the triumph of civilization. He discussed various initiatives supported by Prince Albert, quoted at length from the Report of the General Board of Health and took note of the contribution made by Charles Kingsley.

Shortly afterwards, while visiting one of his sons who was studying at the agricultural college at Grignon,10 his mind became focussed on the idea that every creature produced enough excrement to sustain its own existence. This led Leroux to conclude that increased agricultural production required. He noted that the risks for health were greater in France than in England on account of the fact that the French favoured cesspits and lacked the water closets and sewerage systems that were being installed in England although vast quantities of waste were still in fact polluting the Thames.

What particularly irked Leroux was that, when such ideas received attention in the public press, his views were either ignored or misrepresented. His answer was breathtakingly simple. Leroux was immensely proud of his grand idea but was saddened to discover that his political enemies trivialized and ridiculed his theories. In France the idea was much debated and official trials were success-. Leroux was angered by a series of articles by Victor Meunier that, in his opinion, unfairly represented his authentically French, socialist ideas as so many foreign, English innovations.

Leroux enjoyed casting himself in the role of a prophet crying in the wilderness but he did claim to have exerted some influence over Auguste Bella, the first director of the Institution Royale Agronomique p. Leroux was fully aware of developments elsewhere in Europe, notably the Kennedy system employed in Ayrshire to distribute animal manure to the fields. Justus von Liebig played a decisive role in promoting the use of chemicals, publishing his hugely influential study, Chemistry in its Application to Agriculture, in Science appeared to have demonstrated that what depleted soils needed most was the renewal of their mineral content.

Although in some of his later work Liebig revealed himself to be a staunch supporter of manure, his prestige in the s led many to conclude that the future of agriculture lay in the correct application of chemicals rather than organic matter. See F. Brock, Justus von Liebig. He accepted that nitrogen-enriched manures could make a contribution but he repudiated any attempt to explain soil fertility exclusively in terms of the combination of chemicals.

Leroux criticized the ideas of Jean Girardin and Alphonse du Breuil who claimed that plants grew best in a soil containing naturally occurring mineral salts mixed with an appropriate amount of humus. Equally in error, in his view, were those who followed Albrecht Thaer and urged the extensive use of animal as opposed to human manure. Leroux observed that humans ate bread, not a mixture of flour and salt. And, like bread, the soil was alive and life-giving. To prove his point he put his own ideas into practice between and at the agricultural colony that he and a group of his supporters set up at Boussac in the Creuse as part of his project for a socialist printing works.

Twentieth-century proponents of organic farming often drew inspiration from communities in India and China that had traditionally returned human waste to the earth. Leroux was of the same opinion. He revered the Chinese as masters and praised them for having instigated a system of agriculture based on natural law. A chain of solidarity linked the animal, vegeta-. The editor of the review, Pierre Joigneaux, was a friend of Leroux. Regrettably, however, humans had broken with the order of nature. Modern industrial society fostered division, competition and separation.

Leroux argued that in future the exploitation of human waste should be handed over to public authorities interested in alleviating the condition of the poor and no longer entrusted to individuals driven by the desire for private gain. Again and again he denounced Malthus and his followers, accusing them of using an inadequate model of nature in order to lend legitimation to the cruel and heartless society created by industrialism.

Leroux wanted to reconstruct the social bond by reconnecting humans to the order of nature. This foregrounded connectivity. He started from the premise that the processes of digestion and excretion cannot adequately be understood in terms of the ways in which an organism extracts nutriments from ingested food before expelling the residue as. In his view that which we perceive as mere waste has real value within the greater chain of solidarity. If only his ideas had been adopted by the Provisional Government of then, mused Leroux, the violence and bloodshed of the June days might have been avoided p.

What needs to be stressed, however, is the extent that, for Leroux, the potential practical benefits arising from recycling human waste were part of a world vision founded upon the ideas of interdependence, reciprocity and solidarity. God did not intend that dead or waste matter should simply be discarded. Human manure should be returned to the earth in order to enrich the soil and aid the production of food. Death was not absolutely necessary in order for life to continue.

The products of excretion, far from being without worth, were intended to fulfil a positive role within the cycle of life. Leroux challenged received opinion regarding the status of urine and excrement. He argued that it was incorrect to draw too sharp a distinction between excretion and secretion, compared urine with milk and regretted that he had not been able to write a study on the consumption of urine as he had once intended p.

Leroux explained that when food passed through the alimentary canal something more complex than straightforward assimilation took place. Something new was actually added during the process p. Bichat had not grasped the relationship between the large intestine and the caecum p. Berzelius, on the other hand, received praise on the grounds that he had noted that something new was added during the passage of ingested matter through the intestines p.

Again and again Leroux reinforced this point that life was supported by a set of interlinked bodily functions. Animal waste that was returned to the earth enriched the soil. Cats and certain other carnivorous animals instinctively covered their excrement because they knew that it needed to be mixed with minerals and vegetable matter in order to become productive. He was alert to similarities and analogies. He seized upon some remarks made by the Swiss botanist Augustin Pyrame de Candolle who had discovered the presence of small lumps that resembled excreta on the root systems of certain plants.

Leroux argued that it was the excrement discharged by one type of plant that made the soil fertile when another species grew there. Humans should follow the example set by the plants and animals and return their own excrement to the land. He accepted that decaying vegetable matter produced humus but he contended that this, on its own, was. Discussion of such matters was current among specialists. Truly fertile soil was a combination of animal, vegetable and mineral elements.

The man who used his own faeces to make soil and grow food completed the circle of life and reintegrated humankind within the purposeful totality of living things. Were such practices to become generalized then there would be enough meat and good quality bread to support an increasing population p. It would be like a return to Eden. However, the implications of the theory of the circulus went beyond the eradication of hunger. It constituted a religious truth and inspired faith p.

The Word was to be preached abroad and enacted in practical living p. In his younger days Leroux had been a Saint-Simonian. Central to Saint-Simonian doctrine had been the desire to rehabilitate matter, to restore to the material universe the value that had traditionally been denied to it by the Christian tradition.

When it came to transforming and using nature Leroux implied that humankind should act wisely and take account of the bonds that linked the microcosm and the macrocosm p. The error of the Malthusians had been to ignore the true message of nature; genuine social progress involved respecting natural law, uniting with the general movement of the cosmos. However, while this indicated that the future for France lay in agriculture rather than industry, Leroux was not by any means a Luddite. After all, his plans for the distribution of manure required the construction of complex systems of piping designed to run alongside railway lines.

The whole was greater than the sum of the parts but the parts needed to combine with each other in order for the whole to thrive and prosper. Healthy soil, as we have seen, was a composite that arose from a collaborative process. Were this not to be the case then the landscape would run the risk of being suffocated beneath an increasingly thick layer of human guano. It also answered the Maistrian vision of life on earth as generalized violence, death and consumption.

Here was a chain of consumption and production that involved giving and receiving. Leroux was convinced that his vision. He explained that an individual plant, interested exclusively in its own survival, would soon perish. Selfishness decreased the chances of survival. To imagine that a plant selfishly drew water and minerals from the surrounding soil and then repaid its debts to the earth when its leaves finally fell to the ground was to betray a singular misunderstanding of the workings of nature.

In reality, continued Leroux, the fallen leaves fertilized the soil for the wider benefit of other plants. The continuance of life on earth rested on similar complex processes of sharing and exchanging. Malthus had correctly recognized the infinite fertility of living things but he had not grasped the true character of natural law.

Nature was debased and traduced when its processes were used in order to lend legitimacy to economic liberalism. It was quite wrong to draw an analogy between nature and a banker who was interested in profit and loss and expected to be repaid p. The operation of the circulus worked against the exploitation of the weak by the powerful.

It was intrinsically anti-hierarchical in character. Benabid and R. Waste matter underwent a metamorphosis as it transformed the soil into that which it was intended to be. Leroux epitomized the Romantic desire to redefine the relationship between infinity and the finite, time and eternity, heaven and earth, matter and spirit, the sacred and the profane. He believed that his contemporaries needed a new unifying faith and he attempted to construct it, blending humanitarianism with nationalism, the revolutionary idea with perfectibility, equality and solidarity with individual freedom and private property.

Subjectivement, objectivement, nous trouvons Dieu. Its operation disrupted received definitions of spirit and matter, purity and impurity. It allowed the emergence of new definitions of labour, capital and consumption. The feelings of disgust, revulsion and shame engendered by the sight of waste did not tell the whole story.

As if by magic, the circulus converted sterility into fertility, base matter into something of positive value. By attending to the soil and to the nature of its composition humans could learn important truths, not only about agriculture, but also about themselves and the organization of society. He was interested in animal welfare insofar as he objected to cows being kept permanently in stalls p.

Freud speculated on the causes of modern psychopathologies by figuring the mind as an ancient city in ruins. He postulated that, like an archaeological site, the modern mind is structured in temporal layers and that forgotten or repressed events from the past can be reconstructed from fragmentary remains. In this new, archaeological figuration of the mind, Freud challenged the conventional Enlightenment conception of it as unitary, rational and master of its conscious will.

Let us try to grasp what this assumption involves by taking an analogy from another field. We will choose as an example the history of the Eternal City. If [the observer] knows enough — more than present day archaeology does — he may perhaps be able to trace out in the plan of the city the whole course of [the wall of Aurelian] and outline of the Roma Quadrata. This is the manner in which the past is preserved in historical sites like Rome. Now let us, by a flight of imagination, suppose that Rome is not a human habitation but a psychical entity with a similarly long and copious past — an entity, that is to say, in which nothing that has come into existence will have passed away and all the earlier phases of development continue to exist alongside the latest one.

Literature has in the modern academy become the poor cousin of the social sciences, although many contemporary social sciences, including sociology, psychology and even psychoanalysis, originally emerged from literary observations and figurations. Freud was a voracious reader of literature and shamelessly lifted metaphors, analogies and mythical figures in developing his various models of the unconscious mind. Like Freud, Balzac was obsessed with archaeology and archaeological modes of narration.