Abstract

In her first novel, Adam Bede (1859), George Eliot offered the first systematic defense of her literary aesthetic. Eliot turned to early modern Dutch painting to justify her choice to render the quotidian life of the non-elite, and thereby provocatively extended philosophical and literary approaches to representation. Whereas Hegel’s wariness toward the Dutch painterly aesthetic participates in modern philosophy’s quest to transcend the mundane, Eliot’s celebration of the mundane reveals the sublimity of everyday experience, and helps us overcome the “philosophy-as-epistemology” that, in Richard Rorty’s argument, characterizes and limits modern thought.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 404-423
Launched on MUSE
2013-02-08
Open Access
No
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