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By Karin Kukkonen

"Bringing neoclassicism again into present day severe debates, this research considers the cognitive underpinnings of the principles of poetic justice, the unities and decorum, underlines their relevance for latest cognitive poetics and lines their effect within the rising narrative type of the eighteenth-century novel"--

summary: "Bringing neoclassicism again into modern-day serious debates, this learn considers the cognitive underpinnings of the principles of poetic justice, the unities and decorum, underlines their relevance for trendy cognitive poetics and strains their impression within the rising narrative kind of the eighteenth-century novel"

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Defending his “Of Dramatic Poesy. An Essay” ([1668] 1997) to his brother-​in-​law Sir Robert Howard, Dryden writes: In vindication of myself, I must crave leave to say, that my whole discourse was sceptical, according to that way of reasoning which was used by Socrates, Plato, and all the Academies of old, which Tully and the best of the Ancients followed, and which is imitated by the modest inquisitions of the Royal Society. That it is so, not only the name will show, which is an Essay, but the frame and composition of the work.

Despite these modern allegiances, however, he places the method of modern science into continuity with the practice of the ancients in his remark to Howard, which traces the “Essay” as dialogue in form back to the Socratic method and established practice of the “best of the Ancients” and places it on a continuum with scientific inquiry. The “Essay” itself is presented as an exchange among “persons of several opinions,” and we can read his translation of Lucretius similarly as an attempt to establish a dialogue between the ages.

Yet it seems clear that, however exactly the neoclassical critics related themselves to the sciences and to the rivalry between French and British criticism, and wherever they found themselves on the battlefield between the ancients and the moderns, they have one thing in common with today’s scholars of cognitive literary theory: they were driven by a profound interest in how the human mind responds to works of literature. N e o c l a s s i c a l P o e t i c s a n d t h e R i s e of t h e N o v e l [ 19 ] 20 CHAPTER 2 The Situational Logic of Vraisemblance T he similarities between the neoclassical critics of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, who developed their model in dialogue with the new sciences, and the scholars of cognitive approaches to literature, who seek to establish such a dialogue again today, are numerous.

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