Tillotson, John, 1630-1694. On sincerity towards God and man.
Steele, Richard, Sir, 1672-1729. Spectator. 103.
Style, Literary -- History -- 18th century.
Rhetoric -- History -- 18th century.
Sincerity in literature.
This essay uses the example of Franklin's essay "On Literary Style," Tillotson's sermon "On Sincerity towards God and Man," and Steele's Spectator 103 to set up terms for thinking about a text as both self-relativizing and concerned with the sincerity of language. While these pieces each refer to the principles of plain and sincere language they also, to varying degrees, make it clear that these principles are being broken, altered, and subverted by the text in which they appear. This means that at one level the pieces break down the idea that words have a stable referent in the world: the literary style that they describe as self-evident is a fiction which is being made and changed even as Franklin and Steele describe it. This local example of a performance that is embedded in a tradition of eighteenth-century writing about writing suggests that readers and writers of this period were much more actively involved in the performance of truth than critiques of Enlightenment ideology generally suggest.
English poetry -- 18th century -- History and criticism.
Material culture in literature.
Advertising in literature.
Time in literature.
Although consumption theory assumes a distinction between subjectivity and objectivity, this essay argues that early eighteenth-century poets, especially Swift, Pope, and Gay, view the margin between things and humans as hazardously pervious. Subjectivity might collapse into objectivity under the pressure of encountering things, while objects, in the contexts of a consumer culture and a literature of printed advertising, were becoming the subjects of literature and culture. The result is the thing-poem: a poetic redefinition of the relations of subject to time that borrows from occasional verse, satire, posies, and advertising to portray the clash between durable object and transient subject.
Natural history -- Catalogs and collections -- Spain -- History -- 18th century.
Natural history -- Political aspects -- Spain -- History -- 18th century.
Natural history -- Economic aspects -- Spain -- History -- 18th century.
Imperialism and science -- Spain -- History -- 18th century.
The Archive of the Indies in Seville, Spain, contains a series of documents that attest to the widespread investigation and collection of natural history specimens by colonial officials in Spanish America in the eighteenth century. These natural history collections, overlooked by most historians of the period, are of crucial importance to understanding the relationship between science, imperial politics, and economic goals in Enlightenment Spain. Although they grew out of a centuries-long tradition of bureaucratic information-gathering within the Spanish Empire, these collections also demonstrated innovation in the way they were administered and in the types of specimens sought. In this way, the collections highlight the connection between natural history and political economy made by a number of key reformers of the period and thus serve to represent the reforming spirit of the Spanish Crown in the eighteenth century.
Africa -- Public opinion -- History -- 18th century.
Slavery -- Public opinion -- History -- 18th century.
Public opinion -- History -- 18th century.
The eighteenth-century debate on Africa provides a revealing context for interpreting Olaudah Equiano's presentation of his African identity in The Interesting Narrative (1789). The debate begins with William Snelgrave who, in New Account of Some Parts of Guinea and the Slave-Trade (1734), depicts the slave trade as rescuing Africans from their brutal Kings. These Kings, Snelgrave suggests, when not offered money by Europeans, happily kill captives as human sacrifices and even for cannibal feasts. Anthony Benezet offered the most influential rebuttal to Snelgrave in his polemical compilation of travel accounts, Some Historical Account of Guinea (1771), which portrays Africans as innocent primitives corrupted by Europeans. Equiano's definition of his national identity as British, rather than Igbo or Beninite, can be understood as responding to both extremes in this debate.
Replication (Experimental design) -- History -- 18th century.
Imitation in art.
Aesthetics, Modern -- 18th century.
Johann Caspar Lavater's science of physiognomics reads human character traits from external physical features. This "science," presented in a four-volume work replete with reproduced images, reflects Lavater's desire to fuse two emerging, yet distinct paradigms of reproduction: scientific replication (the scientific method) and aesthetic reproduction (artistic imitation). Despite his claims to scientific accuracy, however, Lavater values flawed artistic reproductions over accurate, replicable data. The aesthetic truths in imperfect reproductions, unlike the replicable truths of science, require his presence as a mediator. Lavater's physignomics, in favoring the aesthetic over the scientific, reproduces its creator as a mediator of truth.
Indecent exposure -- France -- History -- 18th century.
Social structure -- France -- History -- 18th century.
Master and servant -- France -- History -- 18th century.
Blacks -- France -- History -- 18th century.
Theater and society -- France -- History -- 18th century.
On 21 January 1763, a wealthy nobleman staged a performance of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Devin de village at his Parisian townhouse. The soirée was attended by military and financial elites. After the curtain fell, several of the master's servants were joking with each other backstage. When the coachman dropped his trousers and displayed his buttocks to a young black page, the latter abruptly raised the curtain to expose the coachman's bare rump to the remaining elites in the room. Their master then called the neighborhood police to arrest the coachman. This article explores issues of social distinction, race, and state authority raised by this incident.