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Treatment of the paradox: different discursive strategies surrounding elusive knowledge in poetic and expositional texts written in the Ibero-Romance languages of the early modern period

Subproject by Sarah Fallert

This subproject examines attempts to conceptualize elusive knowledge in eighteenth-century aesthetic discourse produced in Ibero-Romance languages. In addition, the inquiry will also include certain authors and art theory discourses of the seventeenth century (for example, Gracián and his theory of despejo or the Baroque concept of equívoco), to the extent that they are relevant as a foil or backdrop to the aesthetic programme of Enlightenment. The comparative analysis will concentrate primarily on poetic and expositional texts, by the juxtaposition of which questions concerning the discourse-specific treatment will come into focus (for example, in Feijoo's works). Particular emphasis will be placed on the overlaps between different categories such as gracia, donaire, manera or no sé qué, a placeholder term for the unnamable and incomprehensible that features in the theoretical writings of Feijoo and others, and on the tension between nature and art (found in works by Spanish authors including Palomino, Feijoo, Nasarre, Erauso y Zavaleta and Mengs).