The Aesthetics of Discovery: Text, Image, and the Performance of Knowledge in the Early-Modern Book
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CitationKorta, Jeremie Charles. 2015. The Aesthetics of Discovery: Text, Image, and the Performance of Knowledge in the Early-Modern Book. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractHow does the book-object in early modernity participate in the representation of scientific knowledge? How was the reader meant to approach the book and to comprehend its contents? This project starts from the contention that scientific knowledge is not a product simply to be deposited into unmarked containers and transmitted unproblematically. On the contrary, the book, whether literary or scientific, actively shapes and invents objects of scientific knowledge. Sensory, affective and cognitive ways in which the reader is expected to approach the book and its contents are implicit in its formatting of text and image, not to mention margins, presentational material and indices.
This project draws from literary and natural scientific traditions of the French and Italian Renaissance in order to study how the early-modern book forms and performs scientific knowledge in various ways. Compelling the reader to interrupt his or her reading and to explore the book’s text and images as if they were objects in their own right, the book-object strives to imitate the experience and method of scientific discovery for the early-modern reader. To this end, touch, appetition, and bodily awareness become as important as sight and critical reasoning in a procedural approach and apprehension of knowledge in and of the book-object. An “aesthetics of discovery”, formed by the book and performed by the reader, is implicit in the book’s careful articulations of text and image.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:17467521
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