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Reading Shakespeare's Will: The Theology of Figure from Augustine to the Sonnets

Reading Shakespeare's Will: The Theology of Figure from Augustine to the Sonnets BOOK REVIEWS/179 In Altieri’s view, many current aesthetic theorists, whether they come from cultural studies, cognitive psychology, or philosophy of ethics, err by focusing on a social or ethical context rather than the particular effect of the text: the way it turns our attention, moves us, and makes us move. Unlike Deleuze, whose work on emotion Altieri praises with (one senses) a profoundly frustrated but nevertheless hyperbolic enthusiasm, he wants to show how openness to affect both in works of art and in the lives of other people can result in enlightenment (so that “an aesthetics of the affects also becomes a means of elaborating how there may be profoundly incommensurable perspectives on values that are nonetheless all necessary if we are to realize various aspects of our human potential” [5]). Altieri’s emphasis on the didactic value of the emotions is pursued with a thankfully vague, generalizing touch, so that we are unsure quite how to take the word “realize” in the sentence I have just quoted. Here his canny (and unacknowledged) precursor is Emerson, who reflects on mood as a means of life-strengthening perspective in a way that, unlike the later pragmatist tradition, deliberately evades tests of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

Reading Shakespeare's Will: The Theology of Figure from Augustine to the Sonnets

Comparative Literature , Volume 57 (2) – Jan 1, 2005

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2005 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/-57-2-193
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

BOOK REVIEWS/179 In Altieri’s view, many current aesthetic theorists, whether they come from cultural studies, cognitive psychology, or philosophy of ethics, err by focusing on a social or ethical context rather than the particular effect of the text: the way it turns our attention, moves us, and makes us move. Unlike Deleuze, whose work on emotion Altieri praises with (one senses) a profoundly frustrated but nevertheless hyperbolic enthusiasm, he wants to show how openness to affect both in works of art and in the lives of other people can result in enlightenment (so that “an aesthetics of the affects also becomes a means of elaborating how there may be profoundly incommensurable perspectives on values that are nonetheless all necessary if we are to realize various aspects of our human potential” [5]). Altieri’s emphasis on the didactic value of the emotions is pursued with a thankfully vague, generalizing touch, so that we are unsure quite how to take the word “realize” in the sentence I have just quoted. Here his canny (and unacknowledged) precursor is Emerson, who reflects on mood as a means of life-strengthening perspective in a way that, unlike the later pragmatist tradition, deliberately evades tests of

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2005

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