History of debauchery
The libertine is not only this aimless and decadent aristocrat that has become accustomed to imagine. Libertinism is primarily a radical school of thought that has gone through all of Europe, from the Renaissance to the French Revolution.
History of debauchery Originally Enlightenment, thought free from dogma, licentiousness helped shape our society. Montaigne Sade through Cyrano de Bergerac or Dom Juan, discover the story of a freedom to think like the others.
Working out of dogma
Refer to those who are freed of social rules by a contemptuous nickname was first the preserve of their enemies. The “libertines” are first in Geneva society strictly implemented by Jean Calvin in the sixteenth century, those who are not found in Protestant house rules imposed in the Swiss city. The first free-thinkers, Calvin called “libertines” in reference to the Latin “Libertinus” freed slaves in ancient Rome. Renaissance then landed several thinkers and humanists who react against the weight that the Catholic religion imposed on Europe since the Middle Ages. As Montaigne, who invented the concept of skepticism from all dogma in his Essays or Giordano Bruno, a former Italian monk turned philosopher who ends at the stake in 1600 for having claimed that the universe is infinite.
Licentiousness is the school of thought of all those who want to conquer the freedom of a man who lives only according to the rules of nature.
This is the seventeenth century that the mind operates. With the reign of Henri IV and that of Louis XIII, the company evolves and morals are getting lighter. The libertine becomes an epicurean intellectual. As “the gentlemen of the Marsh”, a group of young scholars aristocrats who enjoy life and its pleasures. Atheists, debauched and luxurious creature, they are inspired by thoughts of the Italian Giulio Cesare Vanini to publish satirical or erotic texts anonymously. Among them, the famous Theophile de Viau, the most widely read poet in all the seventeenth century.
Enjoy the pleasures of life
These libertines then refer to a “libertinism” or libertinism scientist who influence other authors as Cyrano de Bergerac and Pierre Gassendi. But it is Pierre Bayle that serves true libertine thinker. In his book Thoughts on various Comet (1683), he developed the idea that a libertine can be atheist and live with his own morality. Unimaginable at the time.
For, throughout the seventeenth century, the libertine is known to be a man of loose morals. The character of Don Juan is popularised by Molière, and with it the idea that a libertine advantage of this current of thought to get rid of all morality. This image of the depraved aristocrat takes its consistency in the eighteenth century. At the same time as the Enlightenment philosophers see in freedom an ideal to strive in the pursuit of happiness, the libertine novel appears and becomes a particular literary genre. The death of Louis XIV in 1715, signs the appearance of a new licentiousness of manners.
The love of freedom
Libertine eighteenth-century works are overtly erotic, like the tales of Voltaire and Diderot. But it is also initiatory stories where a young aristocrat joined the company to learn what it hides more licentious. Vivant Denon’s novel, after Point, is quite representative of this style. But it is undoubtedly Dangerous Liaisons, Choderlos de Laclos, which refers.
Licentiousness then takes its full extent, and can even be found in paintings by Boucher, Watteau and Fragonard. The end of the eighteenth century is the prerogative of libertine authors like Count Mirabeau, Restif of the Breton or Sade, the Divine Marquis, the author probably the most extreme of the libertine thought. Philosophy in the Boudoir is his true libertine test, whether this book called man to be free of morality, God or any social norm, to listen only nature and instincts. Legitimizing, for example, the worst harm, such as murder.
With the French Revolution, the libertine loses its main purpose. Libertines are legitimate because they live in a society with strong shackles. Broken by 1789, French society is changing and there are more libertines figure of “free thinkers.” Since then, licentiousness refers only depravity and moral laxity, having no more intellectual connotation. There Aragon, in the twentieth century, to assert libertine. The surrealist poet is seen as such because it defines licentiousness as “the love of life, ideas and freedom.”