Excitable imaginations : eroticism and reading in Britain, 1660-1760 /
Kathleen Lubey.
Lewisburg : Bucknell University Press : Lanham, Md. : Co-published with The Rowman & Littlefield Pub. Group, c2012.
xi, 273 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
1611484405 (cloth : alk. paper), 9781611484403 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Lewisburg : Bucknell University Press : Lanham, Md. : Co-published with The Rowman & Littlefield Pub. Group, c2012.
1611484405 (cloth : alk. paper)
9781611484403 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Eroticism and the eighteenth-century imagination -- Imperfect enjoyments: errors of the imagination in Restoration England -- "Too great warmth": Joseph Addison, Eliza Haywood, and the pleasures of reading -- "Something greatly awful": what sex does in early novels -- Sex as form: the aesthetic pedagogies of John Cleland and William Hogarth -- Coda philosophy's erotic forms.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 253-266) and index.
A Look Inside
Long Description
Excitable Imaginations offers a new approach to the history of pornography. Looking beyond a counter-canon of bawdy literature, Kathleen Lubey identifies a vigilant attentiveness to sex across a wide spectrum of literary and philosophical texts in eighteenth-century Britain. Esteemed public modes of writing such as nationalist poetry, moral fiction, and empirical philosophy, as well as scandalous and obscene writing, persistently narrate erotic experiences desire, voyeurism, seduction, orgasm. The recurring turn to sexuality in literature and philosophy, she argues, allowed authors to recommend with great urgency how the risqué delights of reading might excite the imagination to ever greater degrees of educability on moral and aesthetic matters. Moralists such as Samuel Richardson and Adam Smith, like their licentious counterparts Rochester, Haywood, and Cleland, purposefully evoke salacious fantasy so that their audiences will recognize reading as an intellectual act that is premised on visceral pleasure. Eroticism in texts like Pamela and Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, in Lubey's reading, did not compete with instructive literary aims, but rather was essential to the construction of the self-governing Enlightenment subject.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Eroticism and the Eighteenth-Century Imaginationp. 1
Imperfect Enjoyments: Errors of the Imagination in Restoration Englandp. 35
"Too Great Warmth": Joseph Addison, Eliza Haywood, and the Pleasures of Readingp. 71
"Something Greatly Awful": What Sex Does in Early Novelsp. 109
Sex as Form: The Aesthetic Pedagogies of John Cleland and William Hogarthp. 161
Coda: Philosophy's Erotic Formsp. 205
Notesp. 225
Bibliographyp. 253
Indexp. 267
About the Authorp. 273
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