Sympathy Control: Sentimental Politics and Early European Aesthetics

Schweighauser, Philipp. (2013) Sympathy Control: Sentimental Politics and Early European Aesthetics. Anglia, 131 (1). pp. 35-51.

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This essay re-reads early American sentimental novels (Charlotte Temple, The Coquette, Emily Hamilton) through the lens of contemporaneous European aesthetics (Baumgarten, Schiller) to argue that American writers’ anxieties concerning the power of their work to either educate or deceive are more than defensive responses to the novel’s detractors. These anxieties are real: they testify to concerns about the reliability of sensuous perception that also haunt early European aestheticians. Once we realize this, we see that sentimental writers do not, as major theorists of sentimentalism claim, unconditionally affirm the expression of feelings. Instead, they advocate what I call 'sympathy control.'
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften > Fachbereich Englische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > Amerikanistik (Schweighauser)
UniBasel Contributors:Schweighauser, Philipp
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:De Gruyter
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:25 Aug 2016 12:19
Deposited On:01 Mar 2013 11:10

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