Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Je-Ne-Sais-Quoi in Early Modern Europe
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

The Je-Ne-Sais-Quoi in Early Modern Europe: Encounters with a Certain Something

Richard Scholar


This book studies the je-ne-sais-quoi and its fortunes in early modern Europe. It examines the expression's rise and fall as a keyword and as a topic of debate, its cluster of meanings, and the scattered traces of its pre-history. It focuses on the je-ne-sais-quoi during the key period 1580-1680 but strays on either side of these limits to trace the expression's precursors and its later fortunes. The je-ne-sais-quoi is now assumed to be a quintessentially French phenomenon, but in the early modern period it also marks the cultures of France's neighbours, and this is reflected in the book's inc ... More

Keywords: France, explanation, literature, natural philosophy, passions, interdisciplinarity, first-person experience

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780199274406
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199274406.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Richard Scholar, author
Fellow and Tutor in French, Oriel College, Oxford
Author Webpage

subscribe or login to access all content.

Subscriber Login

Forgotten your password?