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Document Details :
Title: Defending the Poet
Subtitle: The Reception of On the Sublime in Daniel Heinsius' Prolegomena on Hesiod
Author(s): JANSEN, Wieneke
Volume: 43 Issue: 2 Date: 2016
The early modern preoccupation with Longinus’ defence of the ‘flawed genius’ and his rejection of artistic over-elaboration (On the Sublime 33-36) has often been regarded as a late seventeenth-century development that was precluded in earlier periods by the predominant tendency to read Longinus’ treatise as a rhetorical handbook. This paper will nuance this assumption by showing that Longinus’ reflections on the relation between genius and rules were already used extensively in an essay on poetic theory in the first decade of the seventeenth century, namely in Daniel Heinsius’ Prolegomena on Hesiod (1603). An analysis of Heinsius’ appropriation of Longinus’ ideas against the background of the early modern reception of On the Sublime, shows that Heinsius employs the Longinian sublime as a quality of literature that subverts the rules of rhetoric, much like Nicolas Boileau would define Longinus’ idea of sublimity in 1674.