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Taste: A Literary History
     

Taste: A Literary History

by Denise Gigante
 

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ISBN-10: 0300172249

ISBN-13: 9780300172249

Pub. Date: 03/28/2005

Publisher: Yale University Press

What does eating have to do with aesthetic taste? While most accounts of aesthetic history avoid the gustatory aspects of taste, this book rewrites standard history to uncover the constitutive and dramatic tension between appetite and aesthetics at the heart of British literary tradition. From Milton through the Romantics, the metaphor of taste serves to mediate

Overview

What does eating have to do with aesthetic taste? While most accounts of aesthetic history avoid the gustatory aspects of taste, this book rewrites standard history to uncover the constitutive and dramatic tension between appetite and aesthetics at the heart of British literary tradition. From Milton through the Romantics, the metaphor of taste serves to mediate aesthetic judgment and consumerism, gusto and snobbery, gastronomes and gluttons, vampires and vegetarians, as well as the philosophy and physiology of food.

The author advances a theory of taste based on Milton’s model of the human as consumer (and digester) of food, words, and other commodities—a consumer whose tasteful, subliminal self remains haunted by its own corporeality. Radically rereading Wordsworth’s feeding mind, Lamb’s gastronomical essays, Byron’s cannibals and other deviant diners, and Kantian nausea, Taste resituates Romanticism as a period that naturally saw the rise of the restaurant and the pleasures of the table as a cultural field for the practice of aesthetics.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300172249
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments....................vii
List of Abbreviations....................ix
1. Aesthetics and Appetite: An Introduction....................1
2. Mortal Taste: Milton....................22
3. The Century of Taste: Shaftesbury, Hume, Burke....................47
4. Digesting Wordsworth....................68
5. Lamb's Low-Urban Taste....................89
6. Taste Outraged: Byron....................117
7. Keats's Nausea....................139
8. The Gastronome and the Snob: George IV....................160
Notes....................181
Index....................229
Illustrations follow page....................82

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