By Daniel Cottom

ISBN-10: 0511753179

ISBN-13: 9780511753176

ISBN-10: 0521110971

ISBN-13: 9780521110976

ISBN-10: 0521301726

ISBN-13: 9780521301725

The Civilized mind's eye is a examine of literature in a interval of cultural swap. As a part of the transition from the eighteenth to the 19th century an exceptional transformation happened within the relatives between aesthetic conception, literature, and society. This learn analyses such adjustments as they seem within the works of Ann Radcliffe, Jane Austen and Sir Walter Scott, 3 it appears particular novelists whom the writer locates inside a unified cultural move. even supposing the works of those writers are tremendous varied in lots of respects, in Professor Cottom's view they're all preoccupied with the altering relation among aristocratic and middle-class values. In Ann Radcliffe's works middle-class values are commencing to emerge inside of a governing aristocratic context; in Jane Austen's novels those more recent values are precariously balanced opposed to the outdated; in Sir Walter Scott's books they've got develop into effective, not less than superficially. Professor Cottorn examines the best way those writers care for such themes as style, panorama, communications, morality and ladies, with the intention to convey how yes aesthetic difficulties end result from social switch.

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Extra resources for The Civilized Imagination: A Study of Ann Radcliffe, Jane Austen and Sir Walter Scott

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Viewed, as we then saw it, beyond a deep and dark arch of the ruin, its effect was enchanting; it was to the eye, what the finest strains of Paisiello are to the heart, or the poetry of Collins is to the fancy. y 1:242) Or, in The Mysteries of Udolpho, there is this self-conscious scene painting: St. Foix stopped to observe the picture, which the party in the cave presented, where the elegant form of Blanche was finely contrasted by the majestic figure of the Count, who was seated by her on a rude stone, and each was rendered more impressive by the grotesque habits and strong features of the guides and other attendants, who were in the back ground of the piece.

60 Even as it catalogues differences, the goal of anthropology is to discern an underlying unity; just as psychology, even as it sets certain individuals and classes and sensations beyond the pale, proves by doing so that all people are finally the same; just as aesthetics establishes the aristocracy of tasteful people as a class that, despite its few members, is universal. Adam Smith is only following the discourse of his age when he says, "I cannot . . be induced to believe that our sense of external beauty is founded altogether on custom/' even though he has just been considering the practice of training one's ears to hang down upon one's shoulders - the oftremarked deformity of a fair complexion "upon the coast of Guinea" 61 - and the equally popular art practiced by some Indian tribes of tying boards about the heads of their children so as to squeeze their crania into the shape of a square.

The former critical term is made an adjunct to or is absorbed within the latter, as when Radcliffe gives a recipe for sentimental conversation: To good sense, lively feeling, and natural delicacy of taste, must be united an expansion of mind, and a refinement of thought, which is the result of high cultivation . . Here fancy flourishes, - the sensibilities expand - and wit, guided by delicacy and embellished by taste - points to the heart. (SR 1: 16)9 Taste and sentiment work together to draw the truth of nature into social intercourse, and through this accommodation the use of landscape as a basis for the articulation of character is preserved.

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The Civilized Imagination: A Study of Ann Radcliffe, Jane Austen and Sir Walter Scott by Daniel Cottom


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