Mountain Gloom and Mountain Glory: The Development of the Aesthetics of the Infinite (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Classics)
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Item Dimensions: 105852135607
Label: University of Washington Press
Languages: EnglishPublishedEnglishOriginal LanguageEnglishUnknown
Manufacturer: University of Washington Press
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 432
Publication Date: February 01, 1997
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Studio: University of Washington Press
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To English poets and writers of the seventeenth century, as to their predecessors, mountains were ugly protuberances which disfigured nature and threatened the symmetry of earth; they were symbols God’s wrath. Yet, less than two centuries later the romantic poets sang in praise of mountain splendor, of glorious heights that stirred their souls to divine ecstasy. In this very readable and fascinating study, Marjorie Hope Nicolson considers the intellectual renaissance at the close of the seventeenth century that caused the shift from mountain gloom to mountain glory. She examines various writers from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries and traces both the causes and the process of this drastic change in perception.
When we look at a majestic scene in nature, it is hard to believe that our appreciation of its beauty would have been completely foreign to an observer four centuries ago. In Mountain Gloom and Mountain Glory, Marjorie Hope Nicolson argues that the rise of an aesthetic appreciation of nature's grandeur in English writing did not originate with exposure to Italian landscape painting, Orientalism, or the concept of the sublime in art, as have been postulated. Rather, Nicolson demonstrates a direct line of sentiment from Henry More, to Thomas Burnet, John Dennis, Anthony Shaftesbury, and Joseph Addison, and then to the Romantics, in which modern concepts such as infinity and regularity gradually develop into an acceptance of the magnificence of nature as a reflection of God. Originally published in 1959, this book's reprinting demonstrates the importance of its standing in the history of aesthetic ecological thought.
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