Thursday, June 4, 2009

1700 to 1799: Laocoon..." to A Sentimental Journey

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Gotthold Lessing. German. 1766. Essay. “Laocoon, or On the Limits of Painting and Poetry.” Criticism of art and literature differ. Art exists in space with all parts perceived simultaneously. Work of literature exists in time with parts perceived one after another. The statue of Laocoon was one of his main examples. (Laocoon was a Trojan priest who offended Athene and was killed by sea snakes.)

Oliver Goldsmith. British. 1766. The Vicar of Wakefield. Vicar withstands a variety of misfortunes with fortitude.

Rousseau. French. 1766/70. Autobiography. Confessions (of Jean Jacques Rousseau). 12 volumes. Reveals details of his erratic, rebellious life. Began the fashion of the literature of confessions.

Gotthold Lessing German. 1767. Play. Minna von Barnheim. When a soldier refuses to marry because of a question of honor, Minna schemes and wins him.

Laurence Sterne. British. 1768. Narrative. A Sentimental Journey. Attacks sentimentalism in his tour of France and Italy. Caricature of moralizing.

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