Chapter

Gottsched and the High Noon of Rationalism

Frederick C. Beiser

in Diotima's Children

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780199573011
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722202 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199573011.003.0004
Gottsched and the High Noon of Rationalism

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This chapter focuses on another prominent figure in the development of aesthetic rationalism: Johann Christian Gottsched (1700-66). Gottsched is a seminal, if also controversial, figure in German cultural history. His chief claims to fame rest on his two grand ambitions: making German into a leading literary language, on par with English and French; and reforming the German theatre so that it became a platform for serious literature rather than popular entertainment. Whether Gottsched actually contributed to these goals is a matter of opinion; but, considering the state of German literature and drama at the time, he at least deserves credit for conceiving them and working indefatigably to realize them.

Keywords: Johann Christian Gottsched; aesthetic rationalism; theory of taste; poetics; tragedy

Chapter.  13735 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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