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European Intellectual History from Rousseau to Nietzsche$
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Frank M Turner and Richard A. Lofthouse

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300207293

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300207293.001.0001

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The Cult of the Artist

The Cult of the Artist

(p.136) Chapter 9 The Cult of the Artist
European Intellectual History from Rousseau to Nietzsche

Frank M. Turner

, Richard A. Lofthouse
Yale University Press

This chapter examines the transformation of the concept and social role of the artist during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. The artist came to be thought of and discussed as someone who was larger than life and certainly larger, truer, better, and more inspired than the rest of the human beings in whose society he dwelled and whose society and values he challenged. The artist in that regard assumed the function of a social critic very much in the manner that Rousseau had seen himself. However, in the eyes of some such as Percy Shelley, the artist assumed the role not of critic but as the legislator who was to lay down laws and mores for societies.

Keywords:   artists, social role, social critic, legislator, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Percy Shelley

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