Literature, Science and Religion in Constantijn Huygens’ Ooghentroost: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Literature, Science and Religion in Constantijn Huygens’ Ooghentroost

1st Edition

By Lise Gosseye


200 pages

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Hardback: 9781409456063
pub: 2019-12-30
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Using a canonical work of Dutch literature, Ooghentroost (Consolation for the eyes), as a focal point, this book examines the development of literature as a specific discursive domain during the early modern period. It traces how literature begins to be set apart from the scientific and religious domains in early modern discourse and how this development marks the rise of modernity. Published in 1647 by the Dutch diplomat and poet Constantijn Huygens, Ooghentroost was written at a complex historical moment. The times were marked on the one hand by new developments in science such as the perfection of telescopes and new insights into the nature of light and vision; and on the other by new religious uncertainties and intellectual turmoil, caused by the emphasis of the Reformation on divine election, predestination and individual interpretation of the Bible. Author Lise Gosseye explores how this turbulent historical moment is reflected throughout the poem in a number of frictions that arise within and between various types of language, most notably religious-philosophical discourse, scientific-epistemological discourse and poetic discourse. She traces these tensions through the poem, structuring her analysis primarily around three discursive frictions: the friction between Calvinism and humanism in Ooghentroost; the tension that arises between what could be called a form of Augustinianism and of Stoicism; and finally the tension between the humanist reliance on reading books and the New Scientist’s reliance on observation.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents to come

About the Author

Lise Gosseye is a post-doctoral research fellow at Ghent University, Belgium.

About the Series

Literary and Scientific Cultures of Early Modernity

Literary and Scientific Cultures of Early Modernity
For more than a decade now, Literary and Scientific Cultures of Early Modernity has provided a forum for groundbreaking work on the relations between literary and scientific discourses in Europe, during a period when both fields were in a crucial moment of historical formation. We welcome proposals that address the many overlaps between modes of imaginative writing typical of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries”poetics, rhetoric, prose narrative, dramatic production, utopia”and the vocabularies, conceptual models, and intellectual methods of newly emergent 'scientific' fields such as medicine, astronomy, astrology, alchemy, psychology, mapping, mathematics, or natural history. In order to reflect the nature of intellectual inquiry during the period, the series is interdisciplinary in orientation and publishes monographs, edited collections, and selected critical editions of primary texts relevant to an understanding of the mutual implication of literary and scientific epistemologies.

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