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Rameau's Nephew, or the Second Satire is an imaginary philosophical conversation written by Denis Diderot. It was first published in 1805 in German translation by Goethe and Goethe's translation was published in French as Le Neveu de Rameau in 1821. The first printing from the original manuscript was not made until 1891.
The work, in a new translation by Ian C. Johnston, takes the form of a conversation between "Moi," a representative of the author, and "Lui," a young, cynical bohemian nephew of the French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau. As they display their wit and show off their knowledge, the conversation begins to resemble a chess game with its gambits and sly stratagems. The two men satirize society, in which mediocrity is allowed to flourish, and discuss the nature of genius, music, and art.
Denis Diderot (1713 - 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer. He was a prominent person during the Enlightenment and is best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the Encyclopédie along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert.
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