This excellent translation makes available a classic work central to one of the most interesting controversies of the eighteenth century: the quarrel between Rousseau and Voltaire. Besides containing some of the most sensitive literary criticism ever written (especially of Molière), the book is an excellent introduction to the principles of classical political thought. It demonstrates the paradoxes of Rousseau's though and clearly displays the temperament that led him to repudiate the hopes of the Enlightenment.
"This careful translation is an effort to revive interest in a neglected work of Rousseau, a moral polemic condemning drama as a mode of public entertainment. Written in 1758, the letter was a spirited response to d'Alembert's article in L'Encyclopédia suggesting that Geneva establish a theater. Bloom's systematic and thoughtful analysis of Rousseau's arguments and their intellectual background provides an illuminating way into the essay."—American Scholar