Sub-project: The Bodmer autograph collection
Start: December 2015
Status: In progress
Financed by: swissuniversities
Description: As part of the ongoing digitization of its holdings, the Martin Bodmer Foundation, together with e-codices, is providing access to a new part of its collection: modern and contemporary autographs (16th-20th century). These are texts in the author's own handwriting; they can, but need not be, signed by the author. The collection, which took over half a century to compile, contains several thousand documents; among them are complete manuscripts of literary and scientific works, articles and letters by literary figures, scientists and politicians, as well as numerous exceptional or still unpublished pieces. In addition, there are numerous documents that were collected at the beginning of the 20th century by the famous writer Stefan Zweig, himself a great collector of autographs.
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The Lettres écrites de la montagne are the last work that was published during Rousseau’s lifetime. For the first time, the philosopher becomes directly involved in the affairs of Geneva. Beyond fundamental proposals, the letters contain further developed thoughts on the spirit of the Reformation as well as a defense of the Contrat Social. Letter VII, where this page comes from, supports the right of representation when it comes to correcting abuses of the Small Council, and it recommends that citizens convened in the General Council reject all new elections of magistrates if these should insist upon overstepping the rights given them by the Constitution. The Lettres were censored in Geneva as well as in Paris. This document is from the collection of Ch. Vellay (purchased by Martin Bodmer in 1926) and contains a draft of two passages from the Lettres. The first of these was published in the original edition (Amsterdam, M. M. Rey, 1764), the second in the edition of the Œuvres complètes of the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade.
Online Since: 06/22/2017
The Mémoire présenté à M. de Mably sur l’éducation de M. son fils is Rousseau’s first writing related to his experience as an educator. In 1740 he took up a difficult position as tutor in the family of the notable Jean Bonnot de Mably, provost general of police in the Lyon region. This position came to an end after only one year. Two young children with little inclination to study had been entrusted to his care: François-Paul-Marie Bonnot de Mably, called Monsieur de Sainte-Marie, five and a half years old, and Jean-Antoine Bonnot de Mably, called Monsieur de Condillac, four and a half years old. The long Mémoire, dedicated to the older boy, emphasizes the “educational mission” and experience with practical education: it is presented as a plan and a synthesis; its writing has been dated around December 1740. The young tutor addresses M. de Mably and makes known to him the plan and structure for the education of his son in order to shape “the heart, the judgment and the spirit.” This is not the natural education, which later on will be advocated in ’Émile. Did Rousseau really present this Mémoire to M. de Mably? Known is only that he gave this manuscript of the Mémoire to Mme Dupin, his employer in 1743, and that since then it has been kept with the “Papers of Mme Dupin.” It was published for the first time in Paris in 1884 by G. de Villeneuve-Guibert in Le portefeuille de Madame Dupin. The Fondation Bodmer’s manuscript is the only one in existence. A Projet d’éducation, much shorter, more clearly structured and of unknown date, was found among Rousseau’s papers at the time of his death (this manuscript, now lost, was first published in Geneva in 1782). It is very similar to the Mémoire and seems to have been written
Online Since: 06/23/2016
This "paperolle" from the famous "Code Gonzague" (held in the Biblioteca Ariostea of Ferrara) is a working copy for a passage that was added to Tasso’s great work, completed the previous year. The poet had submitted his original work to various humanists and high-ranking scholars, and he took into consideration certain critiques and suggestions when editing his verses during the summer of 1576. Several stanzas were profoundly revised or even completely rewritten. Stanza 42 was one of the most reworked, to the point that Tasso had to paste this small strip of paper with the definitive version of the text into the manuscript. The text describes the attitude and thoughts of the Muslim princess Armide, who gets ready to harangue the caliph and his armies and incite them to fight to the death with the crusaders and thus to take revenge on the Christian hero Rinaldo, who had abandoned her.
Online Since: 06/22/2017
Felix Lope de Vega y Carpio (1562-1635), author of many comedias de santos, finished this Historia de Barlán y Josafat, comedia in three acts and in verse at home „En Madrid a primero de febrero de 1611.“ This complete manuscript contains numerous corrections and revisions by the author. This story of a conversion is more than an authentic Christian legend (then attributed to Saint John of Damascus) — it is above all a Christianized story. In the prince, who first gives up his palace in order to learn about the plagues of the world and then leaves his throne for the meditative life of an ascetic, one certainly recognizes Buddha. The edifying Christian story, set at the banks of the Ganges, is nothing other than an adaptation of Vie du Bodhisattva, a 2nd-4th century Sanskrit text, which over centuries was translated and adapted first by the Manichaeans, then by the Arabs, Georgians and Byzantines, until it finally reached the far distant people of the Western World: Lope de Vega’s work thus (without the author’s having been aware of this) is part of one of the most impressive chains of intellectual transmission in history.
Online Since: 12/17/2015