Mark Robson
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Is there an early modern aesthetic?
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Aesthetics has been expanded as a term within new historicist discourse to encompass any form of symbolic interaction that is susceptible to critical analysis. Tellingly, in Practicing New Historicism, one of the main impulses behind the authors' approach comes not from within early modern culture, but instead from the German Idealist thinker Johann Gottfried Herder. Thus it locates itself within the ambit of German romanticism or Idealism and its inheritances, seeking to read the early modern in terms of an aesthetic that is post-Kantian rather than being itself early modern. The emergence of aesthetics marks an attempt to make a decisive shift away from discourses of art that focus upon rules and prescriptions, in other words, aesthetics emerges as that which is not poetics or rhetoric.

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The sense of early modern writing

Rhetoric, poetics, aesthetics


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