05 September 2007

mountain scenery

In her book Mountain Gloom and Mountain Glory: The Development of the Aesthetics of the Infinite [New York, Norton, 1959], Marjorie Hope Nicholson documents the change in taste that occurred in the eighteenth century with regard to mountain scenery. While seventeenth-century poets and theologians conceived of mountains as "warts, wens, and blisters" that mar the earth, travelers in the eighteenth century sought them out as sources of the sublime.


A Country so deform´d, the Traveller
Would swear those parts Nature´s pudenda were:
Like Warts and Wens hills on the one side swell,
To all but natives inaccessible;
Th´other a blue scrofulous scum defiles
Flowing from th´earths impostumated boyles (...)

[Charles Cotton, The Wonders of the Peake (London 1681), 1-2]

[these tidbits found here and here]

No comments:

Post a Comment