From the genius of man to the man of genius, part two: Inheriting (ideas about) genius

Baker, Bernadette (2005) From the genius of man to the man of genius, part two: Inheriting (ideas about) genius. History of Education Review, 34(2), pp. 78-94.

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Abstract

In Part One of ʻFrom the Genius of the Man to the Man of Geniusʼ I argued that classical and medieval inscriptions of genius figures suggest a coevalence between characters in their respective cosmologies, making it relatively more difficult to delineate Man from “spirits” and “other organisms”. The labour that genii performed flowed around two significant tropes of production and reproduction whose specificities were inflected in and across sources. In medieval poetry, for instance, genius figures took up a new role in regard to the reproduction trope, as promoter of virtue (in the form of censuring the seven deadly sins) and condemner of vice (in the form of prohibition against same sex intercourse). The sedimentation (complex processes of character-formation), directionality (patterns of descent) and sexual ecology (emergence of a field of ethics) that the medieval literature embodies also indexes an opening disarticulation of Man from universe and the possibility of grounding “morality” in and as His love choices. Through a series of narrative structures, binary concepts and new sources of authority under Christianity the figure now referred to in philosophy as “the subject” is given early grounds upon which to form in the medieval poems.

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ID Code: 89893
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1108/08198691200500011
ISSN: 2054-5649
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Deposited On: 30 Nov 2015 01:09
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2015 03:25

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