Labors of Innocence in Early Modern England

17th-century intellectuals discovered their idealized self-image in the Adam who investigated, named, and commanded the creatures in Eden.  Reinvented as the agent of innocent curiosity, Adam was central to the project of redefining contemplation as a productive, public labor.  Picciotto argues that practical efforts to restore paradise generated the modern concept of objectivity and remade the author as an agent of estranged, "innocent" perception.

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