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Germaine de StaëlA Political Portrait$
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Biancamaria Fontana

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169040

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169040.001.0001

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Condemned to Celebrity

Condemned to Celebrity

The Influence of Passions (1796)

(p.132) Chapter 6 Condemned to Celebrity
Germaine de Staël

Biancamaria Fontana

Princeton University Press

This chapter talks about how Staël used the time of her exile to complete the book she had begun after her flight from Paris in September 1792—a study of the influence of passions on individual and collective happiness. Following what seems a recurrent pattern in her life, frustration over some immediate practical object led her to invest in some more durable intellectual project. Unlike the pamphlets she had published during the Revolution, Of the Influence of Passions was conceived as a philosophical work, rather than as an occasional intervention in the political debate—though in the end the content of the text was probably closer to contemporary political issues than the writer had originally intended.

Keywords:   Germaine de Staël, individual happiness, collective happiness, Of the Influence of Passions, political debate, contemporary political issues

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