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The Sentimental Mode

The Sentimental Mode

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction The Sentimental Mode
Source:
An Archaeology of Sympathy
Author(s):
James Chandler
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226035000.003.0001

This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of the transformation of the notion of sentimentality over the course of the eighteenth century. It considers Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey (1768) to get a feel for his sentimental mood or mode, especially in relation to his interest in how a mood modulates with alterations in what Sterne's century called “humor.” The discussions then turn to the paradoxical figure of the spectator in printed prose in eighteenth- century Britain, who becomes a key player in the emergence of the sentimental mode; and the relationship between Capra's master, D. W. Griffith, and Sterne's disciple, Charles Dickens.

Keywords:   sentiment, Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey, sentimental model, D. W. Griffith, Charles Dickens

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