L'extrait théâtral dans le Mercure de France, 1724-1744/The theatrical extract in the Mercure de France, 1724-1744" (Mercure de France italicized.)




Hunter, Stuart

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The periodical press, a phenomenon of paramount importance in the history of media, is often associated with industrialization, but it emerges and develops largely in France during the early modern period. It marked the creation of several new forms of discourse, including the object of this project: the theatrical extract. To define this literary form, one must go beyond the dictionaries of the period – the term’s usage precedes its definition, and definitions remain inadequate or nonexistent until the mid-eighteenth century. The composition and function of the theatrical extract will be analysed through the Mercure de France - the exemplary periodical due to its long and consistent periodicity. We have chosen a sufficiently large sample to explore the question: 108 extracts of plays from the Comédie-Française between 1724 and 1744, which corresponds to the long career of Antoine de La Roque at the head of the Mercure.