By Norbert Elias

The Civilizing Process stands proud as Norbert Elias' maximum paintings, tracing the "civilizing" of manners and character in Western Europe because the overdue center a while by way of demonstrating how the formation of states and the monopolization of energy inside them replaced Western society perpetually.

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Extra resources for The Civilizing Process: Sociogenetic and Psychogenetic Investigations

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Was Frederick right? A year after c h e appearance of his work, i n 1 78 1 , Schiller 's Die Ra11ber and Kane's Critiq11e of P11re Reason appeared, to be followed in 1 7 87 by Schiller's Dou Carlos and Goethe's Iphigenie. There followed rhe whole blossomi ng of German l iceracure and philosophy which we know. All of chis seems ro confirm his prediction. Bue chis new blooming had been long in prepararion. The German language did nor achieve irs new expressive power in rwo or three years. I n 1 7 80, when De la littimtllre alle111a11de appeared, chis language had long ceased to be rhe half­ barbaric "patois" of which Frederick spoke.

My simple principles found many rhi ngs paradoxical ro which a mind made pliable by habir is reconciled wichour efforr. To me ir was as narural as char nighc follows day ro lamenr rhe deceived girl and hare the deceiver, ro prefer virrue ro honour and honour ro one's own advantage. In rhe judgemenr of rhis sociery I saw all rhese norions overrurned. She rhen skerches rhe prince , a produce of French civilization: 22 The prince was between sixty and seventy, and oppressive ro himself and orhers wirh rhe sriff, old French eriquerre which rhe sons of German princes had learned ar rhe courr of rhe French king and rransplanred ro rheir own soil, admirredly in somewhat reduced dimensions.

Dearest Sophie", her a u n t cells her, "you are really a most charming g i r l , but rhe old vicar has filled your head with pedanric i deas. Let go of them a lirrle. " 1 8 I n another place Sophie wri tes: "My love of Germany has j ust i nvolved me i n a conversation i n which I sought t o defend rhe merits o f my Fatherland. I ralked so zealously char my aunr told me afterwards char I had given a pretty demonstration of being rhe granddaughter of a professor_ . . This reproach vexed me. The ashes of my father and grandfather had been offended .

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