In opposition to the neo-classicists (Swift, Pope, Lawson, Ward) , the belletristic rhetoricians critically adapted both classic and modern influences. They accepted source/message/receiver, artistic proofs, audience adapting from Aristotle; the 5 canons of the art, three ends (instruct, please, move), three styles, theory, models &practice (nature, imitation, models) from Quintilian and Cicero; Rhetoric and poetic, taste and sublimity from Longinus; faculty psychology from Bacon; and other contemporaries function of reason from Locke and others.
These thinkers broadened rhetoric to include writing and criticism along with speaking; they trained students in oral discourse, poetry, drama, historical and philosophical writing, the sublime, and social graces. This period featured the joining of rhetoric and polite literature, classical and contemporary models.
What gives pleasure to the imagination? Greatness through novelty and beauty. Being "filled" with objects too big for the imagination.
Artistic objects invoke the senses causing sublimity. Associating a weak object with a strong one can also accomplish that.
Faculty psychology based on the senses/imagination/judgment. Taste is developed through natural sensibility, knowledge, and training. The emotions, joined to the senses, produce sublimity. Terror leading to astonishment. Better yet, is beauty which has as its object love, according to its traits (size, smoothness, variation, delicacy, color, physiognomy, clarity). Words can arouse the emotions even more than pictures and nature itself.
taste: powers of the imagination; esp. reduction and association Taste: novelty, grandeur, sublimity, beauty, imitation, harmony, ridicule, virtue. Called for the development of standards for good taste. Posited relationships between taste and genius as they influence criticism. Genius is the grand architect--association is the practical work of a facile imagination
Methods of teaching and studying the belles lettres Departs by taking up the belleteristic combination: grammar, poetry, rhetoric, history, philosophy, and educational administration and procedures-- taste, sublimity, canons, ends of discourse, forms of proof, eloquence of the bar, pulpit, and sacred writings.
lectures on rhetoric and belles lettre: a systematic analysis of style, oratory, and criticism. Emphasis on the various forms of discourse. Related his dicussions to oratorical, poetical, dramatic, and historical writing, comparing the functions, ends, structure, and substance of each, demonstrating wherein each conformed to and deviated from the other. Focused on style as that which is most common to all. look to self and others for standards of literary judgment principle aspects of taste are: proper variety, easy connexion, and simple order (decorum/propriety) refinement, correctness, strict unity and simple clarity.