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Research at St Andrews

Marine Ganofsky


Marine Ganofsky
Postal address:
School of Modern Languages
Buchanan Building, Union St
St Andrews
United Kingdom


Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 462947

Research overview

Marine Ganofsky's research focuses on the French eighteenth century, but she is especially interested in the pleasure-seekers of the period from its philosophes to its rakes. She has written on Casanova and on Condillac, on Fragonard and on Laclos. She has investigated the libertine art of love as well as its erotic ceremonies, rococo architecture as well as voluptuous clairs-obscurs, frivolity as well as ‘ivresses’.

Her first book, Night in Eighteenth-Century French Libertine Fiction (Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2018), explores the erotic pleasures enjoyed under cover of darkness during the Age of Enlightenment. Beyond the indulgences they represent for their readers, the nocturnes of libertine fiction offer an amplified echo of the socio-cultural changes that were transforming the understanding and experience of night for a growing number of men and women in the French eighteenth century. These fearless, happy nocturnes capture the period’s emancipation from superstitions and traditions. They illustrate its conquest of night-time in favour of both social encounters and erotic intimacy. Most importantly, they also reflect the eighteenth-century’s re-invention of darkness less as a limit than as an exciting repository of mysteries waiting to be discovered.

She has now started a new research project on illusions in the Age of Enlightenment.

Overall, her research aims at highlighting the fact that the French eighteenth century, which found its paradise in the here and now (‘Le paradis terrestre est où je suis’ – Voltaire), was also the age of happiness. She has shared some of her discoveries with a wider audience by editing a collection of little known but fascinating libertine short stories: Petits soupers libertins (Paris, Dix-huitième siècle 2016) and by being interviewed to appear in the Sky Arts documentary Casanova [MOU1] Undressed (aired 20th September 2016 on Sky Arts).

PhD research projects available

the eighteenth century ; libertine literature and libertinage; erotic literature and forbidden books; visual arts and literature; the history of night and its representations; illusion and imagination; the Age of Enlightenment; rococo aesthetics

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