As a significant number of critical and theoretical work concerning the long eighteenth century has recently shown, the transition from the seventeenth to the eighteenth century was marked by a number of huge cultural transformations. In such a fluid and controversial scenario aesthetic questions regarding inspiration and technique as well as the notions of authorship and literary criticism became more and more entangled in social and economic issues. Accordingly, all efforts at investigating the essence and scope of poetry were deeply imbued with a growing anxiety concerning class mobility and the new technologies of money manipulation. The paper draws attention to three pivotal stages of that cultural milieu: Pope’s variegated production of Essays, Addison’s Pleasures of the Imagination, and Hogarth’s Analysis of Beauty. In the exploratory and polyphonic structure of the Essay on Criticism and Essay on Man Pope’s urge to idealise the aesthetic experience by stressing the harmony of all things reaches its apex and is concomitant with the poet’s need to dissociate his authorial investment from the crowd of vulgar would-be authors, but in spite of all insistence on order and propriety as prerequisites embodied in Nature itself, a significant zone is still left open to doubt and equivocations. In the numbers of the Spectator devoted to the imagination, Addison focuses on the absolute pre-eminence accorded to sight as the privileged vehicle of aesthetic experience, but equally noteworthy is the attention the essayist pays to the reciprocal emulation between Nature and Art, which issues in a radical ambiguity and the delighted hesitation of the eye of the mind between ‘copies or originals’. A thorough, decisive attack against the Neoclassical theorization of Beauty is instead launched by the most eccentric painter / author of the age, William Hogarth. With its attention to the resourceful maps of the human body and to the hybrid topography of contemporary London, Hogarth’s Analysis traces a sort of ‘pedagogy of vision’ which ultimately seems to apply a sort of Swiftian, ‘anatomic’ lesson to the rigid, standard monuments of the dominant culture.

“The 'Double' Nature of Art in Eighteenth-Century England. Pope, Addison, Hogarth”

LAUDANDO, Carmela Maria
2007

Abstract

As a significant number of critical and theoretical work concerning the long eighteenth century has recently shown, the transition from the seventeenth to the eighteenth century was marked by a number of huge cultural transformations. In such a fluid and controversial scenario aesthetic questions regarding inspiration and technique as well as the notions of authorship and literary criticism became more and more entangled in social and economic issues. Accordingly, all efforts at investigating the essence and scope of poetry were deeply imbued with a growing anxiety concerning class mobility and the new technologies of money manipulation. The paper draws attention to three pivotal stages of that cultural milieu: Pope’s variegated production of Essays, Addison’s Pleasures of the Imagination, and Hogarth’s Analysis of Beauty. In the exploratory and polyphonic structure of the Essay on Criticism and Essay on Man Pope’s urge to idealise the aesthetic experience by stressing the harmony of all things reaches its apex and is concomitant with the poet’s need to dissociate his authorial investment from the crowd of vulgar would-be authors, but in spite of all insistence on order and propriety as prerequisites embodied in Nature itself, a significant zone is still left open to doubt and equivocations. In the numbers of the Spectator devoted to the imagination, Addison focuses on the absolute pre-eminence accorded to sight as the privileged vehicle of aesthetic experience, but equally noteworthy is the attention the essayist pays to the reciprocal emulation between Nature and Art, which issues in a radical ambiguity and the delighted hesitation of the eye of the mind between ‘copies or originals’. A thorough, decisive attack against the Neoclassical theorization of Beauty is instead launched by the most eccentric painter / author of the age, William Hogarth. With its attention to the resourceful maps of the human body and to the hybrid topography of contemporary London, Hogarth’s Analysis traces a sort of ‘pedagogy of vision’ which ultimately seems to apply a sort of Swiftian, ‘anatomic’ lesson to the rigid, standard monuments of the dominant culture.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11574/35835
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