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Ruined by Design: Shaping Novels and Gardens in the Culture of Sensibility
     

Ruined by Design: Shaping Novels and Gardens in the Culture of Sensibility

by Inger Sigrun Brodey
 

ISBN-10: 0415542103

ISBN-13: 9780415542104

Pub. Date: 06/05/2012

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

By examining the motif of ruination in a variety of late-eighteenth-century domains, this book portrays the moral aesthetic of the culture of sensibility in Europe, particularly its negotiation of the demands of tradition and pragmatism alongside utopian longings for authenticity, natural goodness, self-governance, mutual transparency, and instantaneous kinship.

Overview

By examining the motif of ruination in a variety of late-eighteenth-century domains, this book portrays the moral aesthetic of the culture of sensibility in Europe, particularly its negotiation of the demands of tradition and pragmatism alongside utopian longings for authenticity, natural goodness, self-governance, mutual transparency, and instantaneous kinship. This book argues that the rhetoric of ruins lends a distinctive shape to the architecture and literature of the time and requires the novel to adjust notions of authorship and narrative to accommodate the prevailing aesthetic. Just as architects of eighteenth-century follies pretend to have discovered "authentic" ruins, novelists within the culture of sensibility also build purposely fragmented texts and disguise their authorship, invoking highly artificial means of simulating nature. The cultural pursuit of human ruin, however, leads to hypocritical and sadistic extremes that put an end to the characteristic ambivalence of sensibility and its unusual structures.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415542104
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
06/05/2012
Series:
Literary Criticism and Cultural Theory Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
298
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures

Preface

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Sensibility and its Discontents

Chapter One: Redeeming Ruin

Chapter Two: The Anatomy of Follies

Chapter Three: Reading Ruin

Chapter Four: Constructing Human Ruin

Afterword: The Luxuries of Distress

Notes

Index

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