Lettres persanes

ISBN: 2253003212
ISBN 13: 9782253003212
By: Montesquieu

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18th Century Classics Currently Reading Fiction France French French Literature Literature Philosophy To Read

About this book

To Montesquieu belongs the honor of pioneering the movement out of which grew the philosophical dictionaries, encyclopedias, and the literary crusade against mental subjection. If ever satire had a distinct call to duty it was during the Regency in France. Montesquieu adopted the device of a series of familiar letters exchanged by two Persian travelers in France. They were completed in 1721. Popular taste was captivated by the wit and pleasantry of the Letters. They gently satirized the abuses rife in church and state; society was held up to ridicule for its pet sins.

Reader's Thoughts


Boring... Maybe reading it in original didn't help either. Most of what was written is so long outdated, that in order for it to have been interesting, the form and the literary qualities should have been of a much greater value then they are. I guess it's a matter of taste, I don't find letter-novels very appealing. And sometimes I had a hard time finding the connection between the letters - it's not like a book that goes from a beginning to an end, it's just a collection of facts and view of facts... I guess this is a book to be read by people that are passionate about that period of French history, therefore being familiar with the political, economical and social context of the time. Everything (ok, almost everything) in this book is a reference to an event or to a person or to a rumor or to some plot that was fashionable at the time, so for someone unfamiliar with all that... it's just mumble bumble..


Since this is a series of letters, there isn't a solid plot throughout the book. Not my thing.


Довольно занимательная книга.Читая подобные книги понимаешь, что человечество практически не меняется. Арабы, а точнее персияне свежим взглядом хорошо изобразили быт Европы и дали характеристику нравам её граждан ещё в начале 18-го века. Благодаря данной книге можно понять как на наш мир смотрят наблюдательные люди более отдалённых от европейских государств стран, особенно которых разделяет не только расстояние, но и религия, нравы и обычаи.Но в книге не только о европейцах, а еще благодаря этой переписке можно немного изучить и понять психологию, нравы, религию и устои самих персиян.А на десерт Монтескье оставил интересную, забавную и в то же время трагическую историю о приключениях в гареме одного из главных героев этой переписки.Не могу сказать, что книга очень уж ценна. Она скорее полезная и в то же время забавная.

E.J. Matze

This richly evocative novel-in-letters tells the story of two Persian noblemen who have left their country - the modern Iran - to journey to Europe in search of wisdom. As they travel, they write home to wives and eunuchs in the harem and to friends in France and elsewhere. Their colourful observations on the culture differences between West and East culture conjure up Eastern sensuality, repression and cruelty in contrast to the freer, more civilized West - but here also unworthy nobles and bishops, frivolous women of fashion and conceited people of all kinds are satirized. Storytellers as well as letter-writers, Montesquieu's Usbek and Rica are disrespectful and witty, but also serious moralists. "Persian Letters" was a succes de scandale in Paris society, and encapsulates the libertarian, critical spirit of the early eighteenth century.

Marc L

Typische roman in brievenvormKracht: evolutie van de personages; variatie tussen harem-correspondentie (exotisch, sappig) en saaiere filosofische brie-ven (dienen ook als contrapunt); relativering van de absolute geldigheid van gebruiken en inzichtenpersonages- usbek: gericht op wijsheid; inzicht in relativisme en dikwijls sceptisch, maar twijfelaar; meer en meer gericht op rede en deugd; maar niet toegepast op eigen harem; eerder pessimistisch- Rica: jonge, vitale man; sterk ironiserend en satirisch over westerse samenleving; sneller aan het twijfelen en relativerenSterke kracht is de satire: tegen despotisme en absolutisme; tegen godsdienstig fanatisme- tegen sociale hypocrisieuitlopend op universeel relativisme

Loredana Adriana

I had to study The Persian Letters at college and I thought to myself... oh, no, this is going to be boring. But no! I had the most amazing surprise ever. I must admit, I read them in both French and Romanian (my own language) but not in English. This collection of letters had a special charm to it and I enjoyed reading every single one of them. Thus, I recommend this book to all! It's wise and quite actual. Not at all boring. Guaranteed!

Piotr Bukański

It's quite amazing that the problems which were in Europe in 1721 are still there, nothing has changed, just surnames, probably even not families.

Malene M.

Very interesting book. I liked how the Persians commented on Europe and France, and I liked the letters from the seraglio. All in all a great book and I would definitely recommend it!



Sean Chick

The parts that are good and thoughtful are excellent, but too much of the book is a bore.

Scott Kleinpeter

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Makes me want to read more Enlightenment novels.

Ghanem Abdullah

المفكر الفرنسي مونتسكيو، صاحب كتاب “روح القوانين”، يطرح في كتاب “رسائل فارسية” نقدًا سياسيًا واجتماعيًا وثقافيًا، عبر أسلوب جديد مثير، وهو الرسائل التي يغلب عليها روح السخرية والتهكم، المبطنة بالمعاني شديدة اللهجة لما يجري ويحدث في فرنسا خصوصًا وأوروبا عمومًا.مونتسكيو يختلق قصة أمير مسلم فارسي، اسمه أوزبك، شغوف بالمعرفة والحكمة، فيغادر بلاده نحو الغرب، باحثًا عن أرضٍ يجد فيها بغيته، ويصل باريس ويراسل أهله الذين تركهم وراءَه، ناقلاً لهم مشاهداته وخبراته في الحاضرة الأوروبية العريقة.لكن مونتسكيو، لا يُقصر كتابة الرسائل على هذا الأمير الفارسي، فهناك عدة أشخاص أخَر يساهمون في كتابة الرسائل، فمثلاً، كبير خصيي القصر، الذي يُخبر سيده الغائب عن أخبار نسائه اللواتي تركهن خلفه بعهدة كبير خصيي القصر هذا، وهناك رسائل روستان صديق أوزبك، ورسائل بعض زوجات أوزبك، وغيرهم من كتبة الرسائل، تلك الرسائل التي استخدمها مونتسكيو طَبقًا يُقدم من خلاله نقدًا مباشرًا وأحيانًا غير مباشر للمجتمع والدولة والدين والتقاليد.الكتاب غني بالاقتباسات التي تعكس خبرة وثقافة مونتسكيو، وهو ذات الأمر الذي وجدته في كتابه الآخر “تأملات في تاريخ الرومان”، وكتابات مونتسكيو ليست مجرد كتابات مؤلف أو مفكر، بل هي كما قرأت له وعنه، حصيلة تجربة عملية طويلة في القضاء والتجارة والبرلمان، وقراءات مطولة في التاريخ والفلسفة وغيرها، ونتيجة صولات وجولات في المدن والحواضر الأوروبية.http://hmsq8.wordpress.com/2014/06/28...

T.F. Rhoden

Any book that has the staying power that this title has had will have merit. Published nearly three hundred years ago (in 1721), Persian Letters by Montesquieu is an epistolary novel that traces the fictional correspondence between two eighteenth-century Persians and their countrymen as they travel through the occidental world for the first time, eventually settling in Paris for a decade during the remaining years of Louie XIV’s reign. The book illustrates what we would now call today culture shock for the two main characters as they try to make sense of their new surroundings and the colorful people that enliven their day-to-day soirées and sojourns into European life at the onset of the Enlightenment.This compellation has more than a few witticisms and biting criticisms of the times. Reading it today, three-hundred years later, it is obvious that Montesquieu used the fictional characters as a cover for his own criticisms. Though which critiques actually parallel his thoughts is open to question, this ambiguity, I think, actually making the piece more enjoyable to read. I cannot verify the accurateness of Montesquieu’s portrayal of these Persians—would they have really have reacted the way they had?—but a quick glance at the introduction to any modern reprinting of the text will tell you that Montesquieu used the best available resources at the time to capture what they would have likely reacted. Sometimes, you have to wonder though if he is working off imaginative stereotypes more than anything. The character development of the Persians is slight and the plot that Montesquieu throws us is light until the last few letters when events seem to pick up and then rush towards an interesting finale. However, I think it is better to judge the book on its playful musings and witticisms. I can imagine that much of what this Frenchman wrote would have been shocking, maybe even scandalous at the time.The most entertaining features of the book come from the main Persian’s communiqué with his seraglio back home. His many wives under lock and key in his desert harem, their hinted-at misadventures in lesbianism and infidelity, and the dictatorial African eunuchs who relentlessly keep watch over them—all of that fun stuff kept the book moving forward, and, consequentially, was my favorite part as well. Another entertaining element to the piece was, of course, Montesquieu’s musings on everything from government, virtue, law, morality, taxation, metrology to religion, particularly the Catholic Church. The best quotes from the book come from his thoughts on religion. One of my favorites:“I believe in the immortality of the soul periodically. My opinions depend entirely on my physical condition. According to whether I have greater or less vitality, or my digestion is functioning well or badly…I know how to prevent religion from disturbing me when I am well, but I allow it to console me when I am ill.”Speaking of quotes, that is one thing that I feel I ought to warn against. I imagine that I am not the only one who will be reading this text in anticipation of Montesquieu’s treatise The Spirit of the Laws. I found myself enjoying the book much more when I read it as literature and not when I was hunting for witty quotes to be used later on for the inevitable research paper I will have to write for my political theory class.I think it is best to compare the novel to something from its own era, and the person’s writing that first comes to mind to someone who is largely ignorant of that time period in French literature is, naturally enough, Voltaire. Like me, you will have probably have read Voltaire before tackling Montesquieu, which there is good reason for since I believe that Voltaire is much more readable than Montesquieu. If we compare Candide to Persian Letters, Candide comes out the winner easily: stylistically, for it imaginativeness, and hilarity. That said, I did enjoy the Persian Letters and recommend it for anyone who wants an entertaining reflection on early eighteenth-century France.http://tfrhoden.blogspot.com/


نامه های ایرانی در سال های دور به فارسی ترجمه شده، به گمانم حسن ارسنجانی آن را ترجمه کرده! از اولین سال های زندگی در غربت، نامه های ایرانی در ذهن من بوده، با آن سوال بزرگ، که "چگونه می شود یک ایرانی بود"!

فاطمة الابراهيم

هذا الكتاب أشبه بمن يدس في الحساء رساله ملفوفه بعناية لسجين !أكثر من مائة وخمسون رسالة يعبر الفليسوف الفرنسي الساخط مونتسكيو على مجتمعه الباريسي الذي بالغ في تحرره لحد الفجور والتباهي بالمعاصي ، وقد تروق للبعض تلك الرسائل لأنها اسردت كرواية إلا أنها ليست سوى التنفيس عن غضبه بالنقد والتحليل وإعجابه بثقافة الفرس وطهارة نسائهم ، والتزام ذلك الشعب بالبعد عن المسكرات ولجوئهم لوسائل علاجية أكثر منطقيه بدلاً من الافراط في الرذائل كوسيله للتهرب من المشاكل ، وبين الرسائل يسخر من تلاعب الأساقفة والبابا بتعاليم المسيحية ليبتدعوا أحكاماً وتشريعات بما تخدم مصالح بعض الأشخاص ، أخذ ينتقد بعض الملوك في البلاد المجاوره عن قراراتهم الغير صائبه ، ومن يقرأ سيرة مونتسكيو ستدرك العلاقة المتوتره مابينه وبين ملك فرنسا لويس الرابع عشر ، فقد حاول في كتاباته أن يرسل رسالة غير مباشره حول شؤن بلاده والخلل الذي يعتريه الغائب عن أعين الملك وحاشيته !سبق أن قرأت كتاب تأملات في تاريخ الرومان للكاتب نفسه ، مونسكيو رجلٌ له مقامه ولا يمكن أن نستبدله بمفكرٍ آخر فهو ملم بثقافات الشعوب وبالديانات السماويه هذا إن تغاضينا عن بعض أحكامه الغير صحيحه عن الإسلام ، أخذ يطرح تساؤلات عن مصائر أتباع سيدنا المسيح في الآخره مالم يعتنقوا الإسلام ، مؤكداً رغم اختلاف المعتقدات لكن لو تمعنا قليلاً لأدركنا التشابهه بين الديانتين ، مؤكداً بأن تعدد الزوجات موجود عند المسيحية كما هو مباح في الإسلام ، والصلوات التي عند المسلمين تتشابه عند أتباع المسيح والصوم كذلك ، وأن العمل الصالح وحده لايكفي مالم ينال الشفاعة من الرب العالمين . " إني أرى في كل مكان الديانة المحمدية ولو أني لا أجد فيها محمداً " الكتاب دسم و قد غلب عليه السياسة عن الفلسفة !

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