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Walter Pater : lover of strange souls

Author: Denis Donoghue
Publisher: New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1995.
Series: Borzoi book.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
A twentieth-century intellectual of the first rank presents the case for the nineteenth-century aesthetician whose elegant subversions delivered us to modernism. Walter Pater (1839-1894) was an obscure Oxford don until 1873, when his first book, The Renaissance, exposed his argument favoring sensation over thought and, in doing so, ignited a hard, gem-like flame. "Say not what it is but what it makes you see - or
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Genre/Form: Biography
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Donoghue, Denis.
Walter Pater.
New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1995
(OCoLC)604344666
Named Person: Walter Pater; Walter Pater; Walter (Schriftsteller) Pater; Walter Pater; Walter Pater
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Denis Donoghue
ISBN: 0679437533 9780679437536
OCLC Number: 30547829
Description: viii, 364 p. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Preliminaries --
The funeral and Henry James --
From Stepney to Oxford --
Hopkins, Oscar Browning, Simeon Solomon, Symonds --
Scandal --
John Wordsworth, W.M. Hardinge, W.H. Mallock --
Arthur Symons, George Moore, Lionel Johnson, Wilde --
Last years: Mrs. Humphry Ward --
The sisters --
"Diaphaneite" --
Studies in the history of the Renaissance --
"Leonardo da Vinci" --
"Botticelli" --
"Winckelmann" --
Greek studies --
"The child in the house" --
Marius the Epicurean --
Imaginary portraits --
Gaston de Latour --
Appreciations --
"Style" --
"Shakespeare" --
"Wordsworth" --
"Postscript" --
Plato and Platonism --
"Amiens" and "Vezelay".
Series Title: Borzoi book.
Responsibility: Denis Donoghue.

Abstract:

A twentieth-century intellectual of the first rank presents the case for the nineteenth-century aesthetician whose elegant subversions delivered us to modernism. Walter Pater (1839-1894) was an obscure Oxford don until 1873, when his first book, The Renaissance, exposed his argument favoring sensation over thought and, in doing so, ignited a hard, gem-like flame. "Say not what it is but what it makes you see - or feel" is not something Pater ever said, but it will suffice as an encapsulation of an attitude that moved the authority of a work of art from the object to the subject, subsequently outraging the defenders of perceived truth of his time and making Pater himself a figure of controversy and even ridicule.

Substituting sensationalism for sensation and reading Pater's claim for hedonism, or pleasures the soul might savor, as outright decadence, Pater's detractors far outnumbered and outranked his followers (including his fellow Oxonian and most notorious devotee, Oscar Wilde). But ever since Pater has proved, at least in the high arts, the decisive victor of the revolution he set into motion.

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