By Karin Kukkonen
"Bringing neoclassicism again into contemporary serious debates, this learn considers the cognitive underpinnings of the principles of poetic justice, the unities and decorum, underlines their relevance for brand new cognitive poetics and lines their effect within the rising narrative type of the eighteenth-century novel"--
summary: "Bringing neoclassicism again into cutting-edge severe debates, this research considers the cognitive underpinnings of the principles of poetic justice, the unities and decorum, underlines their relevance for latest cognitive poetics and lines their impact within the rising narrative kind of the eighteenth-century novel"
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Extra resources for A prehistory of cognitive poetics : neoclassicism and the novel
The unities were not limited to the stage in neoclassicism. In fact, similar unities were proposed for the epic and the romance. Decorum, as we have seen from Congreve’s Incognita, served as shorthand for characterization and for readers developing a sense of probability for events and actions in the fictional world. For each of these rules, critics were concerned primarily with how the narrative strategies of fictional texts engage with human “nature,” and therefore neoclassical criticism constitutes an important chapter in the prehistory of today’s cognitive approaches to literature.
Arguably, the novelists of the eighteenth century who took up the principles of neoclassical criticism did not consciously follow the scientific method and protocol with which Dryden was familiar, and arguably, they did not explicitly let their characters perceive the fictional world along the principles of scientific observation (as Shanahan shows Dryden did in his version of The Tempest). However, we can still consider the use of the principles of neoclassical criticism in the eighteenth-century novel as [ 18 ] A Prehistory of Cognitive Poetics 19 something like an experimental setup in which principles like poetic justice are isolated and modified to the breaking point.
As Michel Baridon (1997) outlines in his entry on the topic in The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, scientific concepts (from the mechanistic worldview to empirical epistemology and the beginning of biology) interacted with eighteenth-century criticism in various ways. The, example of John Dryden shows the complicated relationship between neoclassical criticism and the sciences. Defending his “Of Dramatic Poesy. An Essay” ( 1997) to his brother-in-law Sir Robert Howard, Dryden writes: In vindication of myself, I must crave leave to say, that my whole discourse was sceptical, according to that way of reasoning which was used by Socrates, Plato, and all the Academies of old, which Tully and the best of the Ancients followed, and which is imitated by the modest inquisitions of the Royal Society.