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Didacticism is a philosophy that emphasizes instructional and informative qualities in literature, art, and design. In art, design, architecture, and landscape, didacticism is an emerging conceptual approach that is driven by the urgent need to explain.
When applied to ecological questions, didacticism in art, design, architecture and landscape attempts to persuade the viewer of environmental priorities; thus, constituting an entirely new form of explanatory discourse that presents, what can be called "eco-lessons". This concept can be defined as "ecological didacticism".
Didactic art was meant both to entertain and to instruct. Didactic plays, for instance, were intended to convey a moral theme or other rich truth to the audience. During the Middle Age, the Roman Catholic chants like the Veni Creator Spiritus, as well as the Eucharistic hymns like the Adoro te devote and Pange lingua are used for fixing within prayers the truths of the roman Catholic faith to preseve them and pass down from a generation to another. In the Renaissance, the church begun a syncretism between pagan and the Christian didactic art, a syncretism that reflected its dominating temporal power and recalled the controvery among the pagan and Christian aristocracy in the fourth century. An example of didactic writing is Alexander Pope's An Essay on Criticism (1711), which offers a range of advice about critics and criticism. An example of didactism in music is the chant Ut queant laxis, which was used by Guido of Arezzo to teach solfege syllables.
Around the 19th century the term didactic came to also be used as a criticism for work that appears to be overburdened with instructive, factual, or otherwise educational information, to the detriment of the enjoyment of the reader (a meaning that was quite foreign to Greek thought). Edgar Allan Poe called didacticism the worst of "heresies" in his essay The Poetic Principle.
Some instances of didactic literature include:
- Works and Days, by Hesiod (c. 700 BC)
- On Horsemanship, by Xenophon (c. 350 BC)
- The Panchatantra, by Vishnu Sarma (c. 300 BC)
- De rerum natura, by Lucretius (c. 50 BC)
- Georgics, by Virgil (c. 30 BC)
- Ars Poetica by Horace (c. 18 BC)
- Ars Amatoria, by Ovid (1 BC)
- Thirukkural, by Thiruvalluvar (between 2nd century BC and 5th century AD)
- Remedia Amoris, by Ovid (AD 1)
- Medicamina Faciei Femineae, by Ovid (between 1 BC and AD 8)
- Astronomica by Marcus Manilius (c. AD 14)
- Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, by Seneca the Younger, (c. 65 AD)
- Cynegetica, by Nemesianus (3rd century AD)
- The Jataka Tales (Buddhist literature, 5th century AD)
- Philosophus Autodidactus by Ibn Tufail (12th century)
- Theologus Autodidactus by Ibn al-Nafis (1270s)
- The Morall Fabillis of Esope the Phrygian (1480s)
- The Puruṣaparīkṣā by Vidyapati
- The Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan (1678)
- Rasselas, by Samuel Johnson (1759)
- The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes (anonymous, 1765)
- The Adventures of Nicholas Experience, by Ignacy Krasicki (1776)
- The Water-Babies, by Charles Kingsley (1863)
- If-, by Rudyard Kipling (1910)
- Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse (1952)
- Sophie's World, by Jostein Gaarder (1991)
- The Wizard of Gramarye series by Christopher Stasheff (1968-2004)
- Children's Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life. by F. J. Harvey Darton
Some examples of research that investigates didacticism in art, design, architecture and landscape:
- Du Didactisme en Architecture / On Didacticism in Architecture. (2019). In C. Cucuzzella, C. I. Hammond, S. Goubran, & C. Lalonde (Eds.), Cahiers de Recherche du LEAP (Vol. 3). Potential Architecture Books.
- Cucuzzella, C., Chupin, J.-P., & Hammond, C. (2020). Eco-didacticism in art and architecture: Design as means for raising awareness. Cities, 102, 102728.
Some examples of art, design, architecture and landscape projects that present eco-lessons.
|Look up didacticism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article "Didactic Poetry".|
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