Literary and Linguistic Theories in Eighteenth-century France

Literary and Linguistic Theories in Eighteenth-century France

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'Linguistic' theories in the eighteenth-century are also theories of literature and art, and it is probably better, therefore, to think of them as 'aesthetic' theories. As such, they are answers to the age-old question 'what is beauty?', but formulated, also, to respond to contemporary concerns. Edward Nye considers a wide range of authors from these two perspectives and draws the following conclusions: etymology is a theory of poetry, dictionaries of synonymy, prosody and metaphor are theories of preciosity, and Sensualism is a theory of artistic representation. The background to these contentions is outlined in Chapter One, in which Edward Nye traces the rise of the term 'nuances' as an attempt by contemporary authors to understand representation in art as a rationalization of chaotic reality. The demise of these contentions at the end of the century is described in the last chapter, in which the dominant language theory of the day, ideologie, is shown to be antagonistic tothe study of art and literature. Theories of language are no longer an answer to the question 'what is beauty?'5.5 La#39;Epeea#39;s sign language Language can only work as a conceptual straitjacket if the idea of nomenclature is ... were not advocates of the same a#39;silenta#39; method of visual signs; they taught either a manual alphabet or they forced the dumb to ... H In England, Juhann Conrad Amman pioneered the oral method of teaching the deaf (Dissertatio de tixfuela, 1 7oo). ... deaf and their culture; nothing comparable to that in France during the same perioda#39; (a#39;The Enlightenment and the Evolutionanbsp;...

Title:Literary and Linguistic Theories in Eighteenth-century France
Author:Edward Nye
Publisher:Oxford University Press - 2000


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