Jacques Cazotte


July 1, 2022

Jacques Cazotte (October 17, 1719, Dijon - August 25, 1792, Paris) was a French writer, considered the founder of French fiction.


He was born in Dijon, in the family of notary Bernard Cazott and Marie Taupinová. He was educated at the Jesuit College in his hometown and in 1739 passed the bachelor's degree in law at the University of Dijon. In 1740 he moved to Paris, where he continued to study law. At the same time, he became known for pseudo-oriental short stories and fairies, allegorically ridiculing society. He worked for the French Ministry of the Navy and in 1747 became an official of the Royal Naval Administration in Martinique. After returning to Paris in 1760 as Commissioner General, he devoted himself only to his literary work. He lived alternately in Paris or in his country house near Épernay. In 1768 he was elected to the Academy of Dijon. He was a great opponent of the Enlightenment philosophers, whom he ironized and parodied. His fantastic short stories, full of oriental exotics and Rococo lightness, and especially the novel Le Diable amoureux (1772, The Devil in Love), significantly stimulated the expansion of French fantasy literature in the Romantic period (followed in particular by Charles Nodier). From the turn of the 1970s and 1980s, he was significantly influenced by the Illuminism of the Martinist sect and eventually turned to political-religious mysticism. His last words were: I will die as I lived, faithful to my God and my king.

Work (selection)

La patte du chat (1741, Cat's Paw) Mille et une fadaises (1742, A Thousand and One Nothing), a collection of short stories. Observations sur la lettre de Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1753, Notes on the letter of Jean-Jacques Rousseau). La Guerre de l'Opéra (1753, War of the Opera) Olivier (1763), a heroic-comic poem imitating Ariost. Les Sabots (1768), libretto (together with Michel-Jean Sedain) to the comic opera Egidio Romuald Duni. Lord of the Impromptu (1771, Improvised Lord), short story. Le Diable amoureux (1772, The Devil in Love), the author's most famous work, a fantastic novel. Rachel ou la belle juive (1778, Rachel or the Beautiful Jew). Prophetie de Cazotte (1788, Cazotte's Prophecy). Continuation des Mille et une nuits (1788, Continuation of a Thousand and One Nights), a collection of short stories and fairy tales.

Film adaptations

Der Klabautermann (1924), German silent film, directed by Paul Merzbach. Der verliebte Teufel (1971, The Devil in Love), West German television film, directed by Rainer Wolffhardt. König Phantasios (1990), East German television film, directed by Karol Hattop. Le diable amoureux (1991), French television film, directed by José Montes-Baquer.

Czech editions

The Devil in Love, Kamilla Neumannová, Prague 1911, translated by Karel Adam. The Devil in Love, Antonín Čížek, Prague 1930, translated by K. Vičar. The Devil in Love, Mladá fronta, Prague 2001, translated by Petr Turek.



External links

List of works in the Union Catalog of the Czech Republic, whose author or theme is Jacques Cazotte Pictures, sounds or videos about Jacques Cazotte on Wikimedia Commons By Jacques Cazotte in Wikisource (French) Full texts of works by Jacques Cazotte on the Gutenberg project (English) Jacques Cazotte - Summary Bibliography (English) Jacques Cazotte - NNDB (in Czech) Jacques Cazotte on the LEGION website Jacques Cazotte in the Book Database