Aesthetic Individualism and Practical Intellect: American by Olaf Hansen

By Olaf Hansen

Addressing important matters within the present revision of yank literary stories, Olaf Hansen includes out an exposition of yankee writing as a philosophical culture. His extensive and comparative view of yank tradition unearths the significance of the yankee allegory as a real creative and highbrow sort and as a special mode of suggestion fairly fitted to show the philosophical legacy of transcendentalism. Hansen strains highbrow and cultural continuities and disruptions from Emerson via Thoreau and Henry Adams to William James, paying specific consciousness to the modernism of transcendental notion and to its caliber as a sound philosophy in its personal correct. excited by defining rules of self, selfhood, and subjectivity and with ethical culture as an act of making order out of the cosmos, the yankee allegory supplied a easy and often ignored hyperlink among transcendentalism and pragmatism. Its "suggestive incompleteness" mixed in a hugely dialectic demeanour the essence of either enlightenment and romanticism. characterised neither via absolute objectivity nor by means of absolute subjectivity, it allowed hypothesis in regards to the which means of fact and approximately humankind's position in a realm of appearances.

Originally released in 1990.

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Additional resources for Aesthetic Individualism and Practical Intellect: American Allegory in Emerson, Thoreau, Adams, and James (Princeton Legacy Library)

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16 If the imagined viewer would care to look a little longer, he would try to focus his attention on the open incision, the obvious cause of horror for the old woman and something to be technically dealt with by the assistants. The rise and fall of their arms is confusing, even their very alignment. By slowly connecting arms, hands, and heads of the assis­ tants, the viewer will realize that the real and the pictorial space are in even greater collision than he had at first apprehended. Someone, hidden for the most part, is cowering or crouching behind Dr.

As a tentative beginning towards an explanation of this phenome­ non we can take a hint from Emerson, who in his essay "Poetry and Imagination" praised the powers of poetry in a way that works by a strange inclusion: "Newton may be permitted to call Terence a playbook and to wonder at the frivolous taste for rhymers; he only pre­ dicts, one would say, a grander poetry: he only shows that he is not yet reached; that the poetry which satisfies more youthful souls is not such to a mind like his, accustomed to grander harmonies.

The forehead of the eminent doctor, his graying hair are splendidly exhibited in the kind of sacral light that suits the calm sur­ geon: master, after all, over life and death. Again, this part of the painting can be isolated and put into a his­ torical context that the rest of the painting and therefore the painting as a whole refuses to represent. In many respects the historical back­ ground of The Gross Clinic resembles that of the Dutch tradition of the group portrait, the shuckerstuck. Putting it into this tradition already means a removal from its real source of origin.

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