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The word Renaissance helps to impose a factitious unity on all the untidy and heterogeneous events which are going on in those centuries as in any others. Thus the "imaginary entity" creeps in. Renaissance becomes the name for some character or quality supposed to be immanent in all events, and collects very serious emotional overtones in the process. Then as every attempt to define this mysterious character or quality turns out to uncover all sorts of things that were there before the chosen period, a curious procedure is adopted. Instead of admitting that our definition has broken down, we adopt the desperate expedient that "the Renaissance" must have begun earlier than we had thought. (55)"
Author: C.S. Lewis

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