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A Genealogy
Resisting the Rise of the Novel
The Free-Spirit Trilogy of the Middle Period

start, then, that the different kinds of forests in ques- tion will come together in one way or another to tell an overt or covert story of the post-Christian era, into whose horizon we now pass. The post-Christian era is broadly defined here in terms of his tori- cal detachment from the past. The first section of the chapter suggests that the era unfolds under the Cartesian auspices of Enlightenment. If Petrarch can be called the "father of humanism," then Descartes can be called the father of Enlightenment. In his Discourse on Method Des- cartes compares the

Thinking Geographically about the Age of Reason
Food and the Sciences in Paris, 1670-1760
Mechanics, Artisans, and Cultures of the Self
Scottish Authors and Their Publishers in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Ireland, and America

217 Nobody has come up with a better project than the Enlightenment. —Richard Rorty, “Human Rights, Rationality and Sentimentality” Capitalized as a period concept or presumed movement, “the Enlight-enment” is too large a term to be attacked, or indeed defended, with precision. Its modern assailants commonly fail to quote or refer to indi- vidual writers or works, let alone engage with their arguments. A dismissive gesture suffices. Specific indictments of the Enlightenment for the sins of modernity, from colonialism to the Holocaust to atomic weapons