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Document Details :
Title: Held en gevoelsgemeenschap in Lucretia van Merkens Bijbelse epos David (1767)
Author(s): VAN DER HAVEN, Kornee
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 60 Issue: 1-2 Date: 2018
In his well-known essay Theory of the Novel (1916) Georg Lukács defends the thesis that the hero in the old epic was entirely linked to the fate of the community that surrounds him. Only with the rise of the novel would the hero’s inner life as an individual come to the fore, featuring his own feelings, doubts and expectations. This article investigates the relationship between hero and community in an epic poem from the eighteenth century, Lucretia of Merken’s David (1767). Contrary to what Lukács assumes, Van Merken’s hero shows his human side and inner emotional life. David’s emotions do not simply reflect the emotions of the surrounding community, but rather his feelings interfere and interact with them. This is especially true when we look at the social dynamics of emotions that create an ‘emotional community’, a term derived from the work of emotional historicist Barbara Rosenwein.