Franco Moretti: The Bourgeois: Between History and Literature [2015 // 189 p. // translation: Iva Gjurkin // edition in collaboration with Booksa]

Franco Moretti’s study traces the rise and fall of bourgeois culture through the period of early capitalism and the rise of the bourgeoisie to the position of the ruling class. By analyzing European art of the 18th and 19th centuries, above all the prose as the dominant literary forms, Moretti extracts key words and stylistic mechanisms that got sedimented in the new characteristics and contradictions of the habitus of the bourgeois-citizen. From the industrious master embodied in Robinson Crusoe, through the serious prose of the nineteenth century, conservative hegemony in Victorian England, national malformations on the periphery of the nascent capitalist system, to the radical self-criticism of the bourgeoisie in Ibsen’s dramatic cycle, the study symptomatically shows the reasons for the historical downfall of bourgeoisie culture.