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Beautiful Deceptions: American Art and European Aesthetics, 1750-1828
Project funded by own resources
Project title Beautiful Deceptions: American Art and European Aesthetics, 1750-1828
Principal Investigator(s) Schweighauser, Philipp
Organisation / Research unit Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften / Amerikanistik (Schweighauser)
Project start 01.04.2007
Probable end 31.12.2012
Status Completed
Abstract

This second book manuscript explores the status of deception in mid eighteenth- to early nineteenth-century European aesthetics and contemporaneous American literature, painting, and sculpture. The art of the early republic (1788-1828) in particular abounds in representations of deception: the villains of Gothic novels deceive their victims with all kinds of visual and acoustic tricks; the ordinary citizens of novels modeled on Cervantes' famous tale are hoodwinked by quacks and illiterate but shrewd picaros; and innocent sentimental heroines fall for their seducers' eloquently voiced half-truths and lies.

Yet deception happens not only within these works of art but also through them: Charles Brockden Brown's, Hugh Henry Brackenridge's, Susanna Rowson's, Hannah Webster Foster's, Tabitha Gilman Tenney's, and Royall Tyler's fictions invent worlds that do not exist; Charles Willson Peale's and Raphaelle Peale's trompe l'oeil paintings trick their spectators into mistaking them for the real thing; and Patience Wright's wax sculptures have deceived (and disturbed) none less than Abigail Adams.

Taking my cue from the original meaning of 'aesthetics' as "the science of sensuous cognition" (Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten in 1735) and the writings of early European aestheticians (Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schiller, Charles Batteux, David Hume, Edmund Burke), I argue that the currently dominant political readings of deception in Early American Studies need to be supplemented by an aesthetic perspective that acknowledges that deception in and through early American art constitutes as much a comment on eighteenth-century debates concerning the nature and function of art and sensuous perception as it responds to shifts in social and political organization.

Keywords deception, aesthetics, politics,eighteenth-century American literature and culture, early nineteenth-century American literature and culture, early American novel, sculpture, painting, Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten
Financed by University funds

Published results ()

  ID Autor(en) Titel ISSN / ISBN Erschienen in Art der Publikation
80010  Schweighauser, Philipp  Literature in Transition : European aesthetics and the early American novel  978-3-8233-6372-9  American aesthetics  Publication: Book Item (Buchkap., Lexikonartikel, jur. Kommentierung, Beiträge in Sammelbänden etc.) 
111300  Schweighauser, Philipp  Book and Wax: Two Early American Media of Deception  1436-7211  Philologie im Netz. Beihefte  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 
958832  Schweighauser, Philipp  Terror has exterminated all the sentiments of nature: American terror, the French Revolution, and Charles Brockden Brown's Arthur Mervyn  978-3-643-80082-4  Terrorism and narrative practice  Publication: Book Item (Buchkap., Lexikonartikel, jur. Kommentierung, Beiträge in Sammelbänden etc.) 
1291385  Schweighauser, Philipp  Early American Studies Now: A Polemic from Literary Studies  0340-2827  Amerikastudien  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 
1428641  Schweighauser, Philipp  [Review of] Liberty of the Imagination: Aesthetic Theory, Literary Form, and Politics in the Early United States (2012) by Edward Cahill  0340-2827  Amerikastudien  JournalItem (Kommentare, Editorials, Rezensionen, Urteilsanmerk., etc. in einer wissensch. Zeitschr. 
2280743  Schweighauser, Philipp  Early American Studies Now: A Response to the Respondents  0340-2827  Amerikastudien  Publication: JournalArticle (Originalarbeit in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift) 
2280749  Schweighauser, Philipp  [Review of] Truth's Ragged Edge: The Rise of the American Novel (2013) by Philip F. Gura  0340-2827  Amerikastudien  JournalItem (Kommentare, Editorials, Rezensionen, Urteilsanmerk., etc. in einer wissensch. Zeitschr. 
2280750  Schweighauser, Philipp  [Review of] Empowering Words: Outsiders and Authorship in Early America (2013) by Karen A. Weyler  0340-2827  Amerikastudien  JournalItem (Kommentare, Editorials, Rezensionen, Urteilsanmerk., etc. in einer wissensch. Zeitschr. 
   

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14/04/2024