Abstract

The conceptual boundary between pleasure and voluptuousness was ambiguous in eighteenthcentury German culture, and both terms were associated with sodomy as the overlapping definitions of Lust, Wollust, and Sodomie in Johann Heinrich Zedler’s Universal-Lexicon (1732–54) illustrate. In a collection of anacreontic poetry (Kleinigkeiten, 1751), and the essays “Rettungen des Horaz” (1754) and Laokoon (1766), Gotthold Ephraim Lessing celebrated art’s potential to arouse the art lover, but the ambivalent status of voluptuous pleasure risked linking that pleasure to sodomy. Lessing responded by establishing a model of art criticism that promoted a normative pleasure in art while censuring other possibilities as sodomitical.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 39-52
Launched on MUSE
2013-10-04
Open Access
No
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