Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
TocquevilleThe Aristocratic Sources of Liberty$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Lucien Jaume

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152042

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152042.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use (for details see www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 23 April 2019

Resisting the Democratic Tendencies of Language

Resisting the Democratic Tendencies of Language

(p.199) 10 Resisting the Democratic Tendencies of Language

Lucien Jaume

, Arthur Goldhammer
Princeton University Press

This chapter begins by discussing Tocqueville's comments about his own practice of writing and what “writing well” meant to him. It then turns a question that others asked but Tocqueville made specially his own: Did democracy lack an authoritative institution in intellectual matters? If commerce could proceed on its own thanks to the market, could literature develop on its own and correct its errors by way of competition and interaction? Yet we can also ask whether Tocqueville was right in thinking that modern society, for all its liberty and equality, lacked a literary authority. The remainder of the chapter considers the claim that Tocqueville's aesthetic appealed to a certain idea of “the natural” that exists only thanks to the guardians of taste; and his investigation of the sources of authority in literature. It also argues that in Tocqueville's view, literature continued to have a mission, and its freedom of action was to be encouraged.

Keywords:   Alexis de Tocqueville, writing, literary authority, literature, Democracy in America

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.