Novelty is an important concept in a range of eighteenth-century discourses, including the ongoing enquiries into the causes of progress in the arts and sciences, and into the role of consumerism in promoting economic growth. Adam Smith’;s essay on ‘The History of Astronomy’, for example, links the encounter with the new or uncommon to the curiosity that prompts scientific enquiry, while Hume’;s essay ‘Of Commerce’; (see p. 50) connects national economic growth with a continuous desire for new commodities.1 In his 1712 ‘pleasures of the imagination’; essays, Joseph Addison had suggested that the encounter with the new or uncommon also plays a significant role in generating the emotional response associated with the sublime. As the eighteenth century progresses, the relationship between the uncommon and the discourse on the sublime becomes increasingly nuanced and specialised, developing, for example, into the romantic–period valorisation of originality in the creative arts (see Mind). A further key locus of interaction between the uncommon and the discourse on the sublime occurs in the increasing public fascination with the exotic.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- The Exotic
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number