Peter Wagner / Kirsten Dickhaut / Ottmar Ette (eds.)
Der Garten im Fokus kultureller Diskurse im 18. Jahrhundert -
The Garden in the Focus of Cultural Discourses in the Eighteenth Century
The fourth volume in the LAPASEC series (Landau-Paris Studies on the Eighteenth Century), this collection of essays is based on an international conference held in Landau, in June 2014. The symposium united scholars from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and Spain. The best papers delivered at this occasion were augmented with additional contributions by scholars working on aspects of the (landscape) garden in the long eighteenth century. Focussing on some neglected aspects of the discourse on gardens in the Enlightenment and in early Romanticism, the book systematically unfolds the variety and importance of European garden culture in a comparative perspective. Particular attention is given to the special configuration of discourses concerned with the garden that actually had an impact on writing and planning. This configuration consisted of theory, praxis, and the metaphorical as well as concrete appropriation of both. This is the reason why the book is divided into three parts – the theory of gardens, the garden as utopos and eutopos between Cythera and pleasure garden, and the exotic (non-European) garden and its influence on the Old World. The assessment of the discourse on gardens of the long eighteenth century thus covers a relatively large area. What the three parts have in common is the fact that they focus especially on the rhizomatic connection of the discourses. Partly derived from botany, the idea of the rhizome, further developed and theorized by Deleuze and Guattari, seems to be a concept of thinking that is particularly well suited for the enterprise undertaken in this book. With the present collection of scholarly essays from five countries, the editors hope to make accessible important contemporary research on the garden in the spirit of Voltaire who famously urged his contemporaries: "il faut cultiver notre jardin". This book not only "cultivates" the garden in Voltaire's sense, it also demonstrates how the discourse on the garden affected the thinking and the aesthetics of the French philosopher's day and age.
ISBN 978-3-86821-616-5, 294 S., 72 Abb., kt., € 35,00 (2015)