Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Of fine arts and fine feelings: mapping affect across Lessing’s Laocoön, Lord Carteret’s Quijote, and Oldfield’s “Advertencias”

Paul Michael Johnson


This article studies how the painting-versus-poetry debate and tradition of ut pictura poesis may enhance our understanding of affect in arts and culture.  Through a close reading of a brief theoretical text by John Oldfield, included in an eighteenth-century British edition of Cervantes’s Don Quijote, it demonstrates that trans-generic crossings such as that of book illustration offer insights beyond the limitations of Lessing’s more famous Laocoön.  At the same time, Oldfield’s text and the edition’s illustrations collectively produce an innovative reading of Cervantes’s novel through the lens of affect.

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