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date: 21 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Experience and knowledge in the baroque are inseparable from the question of style. But whereas style is generally linked to the use of ornamentation in principally decorative ways, style in the baroque is essential. It is essential to the construction of objects and it is likewise essential to our experience of them. Two areas to which this is key are figures of force and figures of form. Figures of force describe instances in which style and ornament are part of a dynamic ontology. Figures of form describe instances in which doubles and duplications are part of the essentially twinned nature of things. These instances and our experiences of them require forms of knowledge that defy the Cartesian wish to reduce things to their simple essences. They establish a materialist ontology that supports the project of self-invention through the resources of language and wit (ingenio).

Keywords: baroque, style, experience, force, form, mannerism, epistemology, wit, ingenio, sprezzatura

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