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Publication Date:
April 2012
ISBN:
978-3-11-027605-3

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Arnold, Antje

Rhetorik der Empfindsamkeit

Unterhaltungskunst im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert

[The Rhetoric of Sensibility]

Series:Quellen und Forschungen zur Literatur- und Kulturgeschichte 73 (307)

    Aims and Scope

    As a ‘rhetoric of the mean’ (mesotes ideal), sensibility provides a positive catalog of emotionalization. This is because ethos as an emotional level is viewed as being able, through gentle emotions, to please, placate and achieve sympathy and virtue (Quintilian). Sensibility in literature creates a bridge between an ‘art of the soul’ that developed into a major subjective and personal factor in the 18th century and a sense of sociability that aimed to integrate the individual into the community. The goal of this study is to provide, through a structural linking of the ethos of virtue and the ‘rhetoric of the mean’, a reading of literature of sensibility based on rhetoric and cultural history that can explain both its public success ‘with the people’ and the reasons for why it failed to meet its own claims.

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