Frances Burney revises Ovidian genres and Ovidian metamorphosis in Evelina and The Wanderer. Using Ovid, she models a complex understanding of aesthetics that weighs the relation of cruelty, laughter, and negative emotions to aesthetic pleasure, and she explores the material significance of aesthetic experience. In the model that Burney adapts from Ovid, value always implies desire: desire creates value, then transforms it in ways that are not always predictable. Aesthetic values, objects, judgments, and the communities that underwrite those judgments are subject to fundamental, mutual transformation, and this changeability is the hallmark of aesthetic experience in Burney.
Starr, G. Gabrielle
"Burney, Ovid, and the Value of the Beautiful,"
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/ecf/vol24/iss1/4
G. Gabrielle Starr is associate professor of English at New York University. She is currently at work on projects on the neuroscience of aesthetics and on Ovid and materialism in eighteenth-century British literature.