Talk:Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

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Again (see Talk:Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel), I propose to rename that page Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Any objections this time? --KF 19:47 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

"C.J. Bode"[edit]

Is the reference to "C.J. Bode" an accidental reversal of the initials of Johann Christoph Bode? -- Fullstop 13:04, 19 July 2006 (UTC)


This article has some sort of citation here [1], in Encyclopaedia Brittanica. Anyone know what's going on?--Shtove 08:48, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

ut pictura, poesis[edit]

"Lessing is important as a literary critic for his work Laocoon: An Essay on the Limits of Painting and Poetry. In this work, he argues against the tendency to take Horace's ut pictura poesis (as painting, so poetry) as prescriptive for literature. In other words, he objected to trying to make literature do what painting does. Instead, poetry and painting each has its character (the former is extended in time; the latter is extended in space). This is related to Lessing's turn from French classicism to Aristotelian mimesis, discussed above."

I don't have time to change this myself right now, but I wanted to call attention to the above passage because I believe it misrepresents the whole point driving the Laocoon. Lessing is not arguing that paiting and poetry produce fundamentally different sensations in their respective audiences, just that the artistic approach to producing those sensations ought not be the same in poetry as in painting (e.g. he discourages the use of facile symbols in poetry, but believes they are indispensable in painting). A reductive, yet still more correct version of the bolded sentence could then be: In other words, he objected to trying to write poetry using the same devices as one would in painting.

The distinction between literature and poetry is also important here, as it is made explicitly in the Laocoon.

  • edit* I'm just going to put that sentence in there for now 09:07, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Gotthold Ephraim Lessing/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

This article is nicely laid out with lots of supporting material. It is not clear where the text came from. So it needs references and citations, and judging from the length of the 1911 Britannica article, it could be filled out a lot more. Bob Burkhardt (talk) 16:07, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Last edited at 16:07, 14 January 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 16:33, 29 April 2016 (UTC)