Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie occidentale > 52 | 2018 > Von der Macht der Worte und der Gewalttätigkeit des Dichters

Von der Macht der Worte und der Gewalttätigkeit des Dichters

Zur Erzeugung virtueller Realität im 18. Jahrhundert

Britta Herrmann    Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster    



This article argues that literature in the 18th century evolved as an instrument to dynamize the relationship between reality and fiction: it creates what in the 20th/21st century is called virtuality, although this has always been associated with digital or other imaging methods. The contribution traces contemporary arguments underlining that language is superior to images in generating the virtual. It further shows how, in the age of Sensibility, mediatic and medical concerns were connected to the new aesthetics of illusion building, and how classical and romantic texts programmatically faced these concerns. They used, each in a different way, the transcendent power of words, in order to shape both the psyche and the body of their readers. The discovery and mastery of the virtual, therefore, was not only the central component for the contemporary educational project, but also served the idea of a health policy.

Sept. 28, 2018
Aug. 22, 2018
Aug. 10, 2018

Keywords: Classical and romanticLiterature as mediumEducationSensitivityEffect of the realIllusionary aestheticsAffective excitementEnérgeia

Copyright: © 2018 Britta Herrmann. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.