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\'I was destined to be...\'

The exhibition provides a rare opportunity to acknowledge with the multi-faceted creative heritage of the writer, playwright, and creator of the famous Encyclopedia. It displays the editions of his first philosophical writings, the best and most famous literary works and a fundamental multi-volume encyclopedia.

In 1743–1748, D. Diderot released his first philosophical works. The exposition contains his lifetime edition of Pensées Philosophiques (Philosophical thought) (1746), and a later re-edition of Bijoux indiscrets (Immodesty treasures).

Fiction of Diderot left a deep mark in the French and world literature. The most popular works Jacques the Fatalist (Jacques le fataliste, 1773) and Rameau’s Nephew (Le Neveu de Rameau published after his death). They are the top of the author’s skills and literary achievements of the Enlightenment. The exhibition also presents the book Rameau’s Nephew (1884) with engravings by French artist F. Milius.

The Encyclopedia (Encyclopédie, ou Dictionaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, 1751–1780) is the main work of Diderot. It was planned as a unique and versatile overview of the current state of knowledge in all fields of science and technology not only in France, but in all the countries of Europe in the 18th century. A quarter century Diderot directed the preparation of 28 volumes, he wrote about 6 thousand articles, collaborated with F. Voltaire, Rousseau, P. Holbach, Montesquieu and other recognized experts. Diderot was confronted with difficulties, but he was able to bring it to completion. The Book Museum exhibits volumes of the first Paris edition (1751) and the third Swiss edition (1777).

The materials are once again emphasize the importance of Diderot’s contribution to the development of national and international public opinion, philosophy, aesthetics and literature.