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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: March ::
Re: Aesthetic Effects!
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0208  Wednesday, 11 March 1998.

[1]     From:   Si Mealor <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Mar 1998 15:49:38 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0206  Q: Aesthetic Effects!

[2]     From:   John Cox <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Mar 1998 11:26:16 -0500
        Subj:   esthetic response

[3]     From:   Harry Hill <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Mar 1998 10:21:22 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0206  Qs: Aesthetic Effects!

[4]     From:   Lisa Hopkins <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Mar 1998 15:39:00 -0000
        Subj:   Fainting and the Globe

[5]     From:   Tanya Gough <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Mar 1998 14:01:00 -0500
        Subj:   Fw: painting fainting


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Si Mealor <
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Date:           Tuesday, 10 Mar 1998 15:49:38 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 9.0206  Q: Aesthetic Effects!
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0206  Q: Aesthetic Effects!

Regarding being overcome by aesthetic beauty, it's called Stendhal
syndrome, after the 19th century French author who was overcome in a
museum in Italy. I don't have precise details, having been overcome this
afternoon by the unaesthetic nature of teaching Stendhal to unwilling
undergraduates.

On a tangent, how is Stendhal's _Racine et Shakespeare_ viewed by people
on the list? Has anyone ever found it useful in teaching about Racine,
Shakespeare or Stendhal?

Simon Mealor

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Cox <
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Date:           Tuesday, 10 Mar 1998 11:26:16 -0500
Subject:        esthetic response

Regarding Scott Crozier's question about the physiological
manifestations of esthetic response, Pepys mentions becoming "really
sick" in his response to the music accompanying the angel who appears in
Dekker's and Massinger's *The Virgin Martyr*.  No mention of a medical
diagnosis, but if you're collecting examples, this is one.  See *Diary*
for Feb. 27, 1668.

John Cox

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <
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Date:           Tuesday, 10 Mar 1998 10:21:22 +0000 (HELP)
Subject: 9.0206  Qs: Aesthetic Effects!
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0206  Qs: Aesthetic Effects!

It was, I believe, Balzac who suffered from the nervous disability-akin
to anxiety/panic disorder-in Florence when he visited the enormous
church housing the tombs of Dante, Michelangelo, Rossini and other
artists. Similar effects have been experienced in that very building,
including an attack during my own visit fifteen months ago.

The physical symptoms-external and visible signs, as Archbishop Cranmer
wrote in *The Book of Common Prayer, of an inward and spiritual
state-have happened to people in Venice as well, and Rome of course, and
in the great Bavarian baroque abbey of Ottobeuren; I think Balzac called
the syndrome a disease "caused by a surfeit of art in foreign places".

It's a concomitant of being moved, of course. I experienced it watching
Paul Rogers' Macbeth when I was quite young.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lisa Hopkins <
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Date:           Tuesday, 10 Mar 1998 15:39:00 -0000
Subject:        Fainting and the Globe

I wonder whether what Scott Crozier is thinking of is something which I
think may be called the Stendhal Syndrome, believed to affect
particularly travelers to Florence.  I did once read a report about it
in a newspaper, but it's a long time ago and I don't remember the
details.  And for the Globe motto, 'AGIT histrionem' seems to ring a
bell, though again that's all I recall.

Lisa Hopkins
Sheffield Hallam University

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[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tanya Gough <
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Date:           Tuesday, 10 Mar 1998 14:01:00 -0500
Subject:        Fw: painting fainting

We're not entirely sure, but there may be reference to the condition
Scott Crozier describes in J.K. Huysman's book "A Rebours" ("Against the
Grain" Dover).  It describes the protagonist in a state of ecstasy or
rapture in the presence of beautiful art (Moreau's Salome in this case).

Tanya (and her ever helpful partner John)
Poor Yorick
Stratford, Ont.
 

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