Sentimentality is the substitution of emotion for intelligence; sentimentality requires the reader to assent to heightened feelings not legitimated by the matter at hand; sentimentality seeks to manipulate the reader’s emotional response by calls to conventional wisdom or attitudes; sentimentality seeks approval by reference to the vast warm blanket of majority opinion; sentimentality never, ever risks the disapproval of any member of its intended audience.

One thought on “Sentimentality

  1. Joe,
    Don’t know where I read this, because it is not originally mine, but my working definition of sentimentality (for example, when I’m using 19th century popular lit or religious pamphlets in my teaching) is “the affirmation of what has already been denied.”

    Dr. M

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