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Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

The Recovery of Beauty Public Lecture - Beauty, Pain, and Violence: Through Lessing to King Lear

12th March 2012, 18:15 to 19:15, Room 201, Elvet Riverside Building, New Elvet, Professor David Fuller (Durham University)

This is part of The Recovery of Beauty Public Lecture series.

For Keats (citing specifically King Lear), in art ‘all disagreeables evaporate, from their being in close relationship with Beauty'.
And Yeats found that he could ‘hear the dance music' in all Shakespearean tragedy. This lecture will discuss the relationships of
pain and violence to beauty in tragedy through the criticism of G. E. Lessing (Laocoőn, 1776) and Nietzsche (The Birth of Tragedy, 1872), approaching King Lear through tragic works in which beauty more obviously qualifies violence, Richard Strauss's opera Elektra, and Kenneth MacMillan's ballet Mayerling.

David Fuller is Emeritus Professor of English at Durham. From 2002 to 2007 he was also the University's Public Orator. He is the author of
Blake's Heroic Argument (1988), James Joyce's ‘Ulysses' (1992), Signs of Grace (with David Brown, 1995), and essays on a range of poetry,
drama, and novels from Medieval to Modern. He is the editor of Tamburlaine the Great (1998), for the Clarendon Press complete works of
Marlowe, of William Blake: Selected Poetry and Prose in the series Longman Annotated Texts (2000), and coThe Arts and Sciences of Criticism (1999). His edition (with Corinne Saunders) of the medieval poem Pearl, modernised by Victor Watts, was published by Enitharmon in 2005. He trained as a Musicologist, and has written on opera and ballet. His The Life in the Sonnets was published in 2011 in the Continuum series ‘Shakespeare Now!'

Contact enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.