View Poll Results: Do you believe that a revival of Romanticism is necessary for European preservation?

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  • Yes, I do believe it's necessary. Romanticism is beautiful!

    36 92.31%
  • No, I do not. Romanticism is pure rubbish!

    2 5.13%
  • I don't know

    1 2.56%
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Thread: A revival of Romanticism?

  1. #1
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    Post A revival of Romanticism?

    I was reading a very cheap book that explained the basic tenets of Post-modernist thinking. Interesting enough at the very end of the book it said that "the only cure for post-modernism is the incurable illness of romanticism".

    This of course made me think for a minute. Is Romanticism the cure for our Post-Modern decadence? In my personal opinion, yes it is.

    What is Romanticism? It was basically a late 19th century artistic/cultural movement that in many ways was a rejection of the ideals of the Enlightenment. What are the characteristics of Romanticism? Although it varies, many scholars agree that the the main tenets are:

    http://www.sandiego.edu/french/romanticism.html

    1. THE CULTIVATION OF SENSIBILITY, EMOTION, PASSION, in opposition to classic rationality [and] common sense . . . . (The opposition appears clearly in the title of Jane Austen's novel Sense and Sensibility, 1811.) The Romantics believed that the emotions, spontaneously released, conduce to good conduct.

    2. A REVIVED INTEREST IN AND APPRECIATION OF Christianity in general and in particular of CATHOLICISM, now valued for its ritual drama and emotional power.

    3. RELISH OF MEDIEVALISM. The eighteenth century had admired classical Greece and Rome, and used the term "Gothic" in derision. The Romantics rediscovered the Middle Ages; indeed, they turned it into a rich costume drama which still imposes itself on the historic picture of that time.

    4. ACCLAIM OF THE EXCEPTIONAL MAN, THE TRAGIC HERO, the individual genius/rebel who defies society's conventions--the type soon to be known as "Byronic." The experiences of the exceptional man were bound to be exceptional; hence the Romantic writers favored plots of violent melodrama.

    5. TASTE FOR THE MYSTERIOUS, THE FANTASTIC, THE SUPERNATURAL (AND THE NON-EUROPEAN). The rationalist mood of the early eighteenth century had sought scientific clarity and had [had contempt for] the miraculous, in faith and life. The Romantics restored the miraculous, perhaps more for its artistic opportunities than out of conviction. Romanticism gives birth to the "Gothic novel"--for example, Frankenstein.

    6. APPRECIATION OF NATURE, on philosophical as well as aesthetic grounds. Eighteenth-century literature, even poetry, had been predominantly an urban literature. The predecessors of the Romantics, the pre-Romantics, opened their eyes to the beauty of wild nature, and described it with loving exactness. They found a harmony between nature and man; nature is good, and man is good insofar as he cleaves to her. . . .

    7. RESPECT FOR THE SIMPLE, PRIMITIVE MAN, representative of "THE FOLK." Rejecting the aristocratism of the past, the pre-Romantics and the Romantics found inspiration in the virtues, sufferings, and emotional dramas of the common man, and in those of "the noble savage," uncorrupted by civilization. A mystical regard for DAS VOLK, especially in Germany, encouraged folkloristic studies, by which the Romantic writers profited.

    8. CONTEMPT FOR THE BOURGEOIS, THE MIDDLE CLASS man, who is by definition money-grubbing and materialistic, lacking the defiantly unconventional high-mindedness admired by the romantics.


    Indeed, many aspects of Romanticism fit perfectly in our basic world-view. And of course it should, since modern nationalism grew out of Romanticism. Romanticism glorified the local, the national, the folkish over the cosmopolitanism of the Enlightenment. Rousseau and von Herder were the major inspiration for Romantic theories on nationalism and nationhood. Contrary to Modernist myths, nationalism indeed existed before this period, but it was Romanticism that brought about the intellectual apsects of nationalism, particularly theories on what exactly constituted a nation.

    With this glorification of the local, national, and folkish; Romanticism brought about a revival of interest in traditional folkore and folk music. Indeed many classical composers adopted many aspects of traditional folk music into their music. Writers took on elements of traditional folkore into their own novels. This was especcially true with the revival of elements of the romance stories of the Middle Ages.

    Indeed the Romantic age brought about an appreciation for ones national roots. Although Romanticism ended in the 19th century, elements of it lived on. Tolkein's novels and the themes in them are directly linked to the legacy of Romanticism.

    Just like Romanticism was a couter-movement to the cosmopolitan decadence of the Enlightenment, I believe a revival of Romanticism could indeed lead us out of our current post-modernist decadence.

    I'd like to hear other peoples opinions.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Gladstone's Avatar
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    Post Re: A revival of Romanticism?

    A dose of romanticism would probably help the society of today. I think some of the architecture from the late 19th and early 20th century is fantastic. They had skyscrapers in 1890's New York, but the culture overall was more interesting (albeit imperfect no question) and had a lot more emphasis on aesthetics Where I live we have old buildings from the early 20th century and they performed their function well (and still do), but they also are not simply boxes like many buildings now. They have statuary and lots of curves, a sense of heroism about them; Art Noveau and architecture together. It was a mix of the modern and high quality art.

    "Modern art" was a step backwards.

    As for that term post-modern, I've always thought post rational would be more accurate. :-p
    Turman found a copy of The Graduate, and thought highly enough of the story that he made a movie he considered to be 90-percent faithful to the book.

    But Turman and director Mike Nichols made one key adaptation, changing the Braddocks from WASP-y blonde characters into a dark-haired, more ethnic-looking family.

    From NPR's Present at the Creation

    http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/patc/graduate/

    http://www.norcalmovies.com/TheGraduate/tg11.jpg

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    Post Re: A revival of Romanticism?

    I completely agree.

    A healthy doss of romanticism is a good innoculation against cowardice, selfishness, and nihlism.

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    Post Re: A revival of Romanticism?

    The art during the Napoleanic Era (1793-1815) was exceptional. The movie Master and Commander gives a tastes of some of that. When Napoleon crashed, so did a lot of the culture at that time.
    Turman found a copy of The Graduate, and thought highly enough of the story that he made a movie he considered to be 90-percent faithful to the book.

    But Turman and director Mike Nichols made one key adaptation, changing the Braddocks from WASP-y blonde characters into a dark-haired, more ethnic-looking family.

    From NPR's Present at the Creation

    http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/patc/graduate/

    http://www.norcalmovies.com/TheGraduate/tg11.jpg

  5. #5
    Senior Member cosmocreator's Avatar
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    Post Re: A revival of Romanticism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigrun Christianson
    I completely agree.

    A healthy doss of romanticism is a good innoculation against cowardice, selfishness, and nihlism.
    Just out of curiosity, have you ever gotten a restraining order against a man who was interested in you?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jack's Avatar
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    Post Re: A revival of Romanticism?

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocreator
    Just out of curiosity, have you ever gotten a restraining order against a man who was interested in you?
    What's that got to do with the subject? This is a discussion forum Cosmo, not a singles bar.

    Pushkin:

    Point one's opposition between reason and passion is not contradictory, what should be done is the subordination of the mind to the blood. Mind without blood is nihilism - but I do not consider this a problem, merely a statement that the mind is not an end in itself.

    For point two, I don't know whether personally I'm going to go get baptised, but I see no problem with pre-Vatican II Christianity (Vatican II caused a chain effect that tore the guts out of the rest of Christianity).

    I've stated I find Gothic architecture brilliant, so I'm all for the third point

    The 'exceptional man'. We live in an age where man is bound by weak sentimentalities ('we must serve humanity...'). This has a suffocating effect. Nihilism can consume these sentimentalities and grind them to a pulp, and leave room for the exceptional man.

    Point five is already occuring - witness the rise in 'new age spirituality'. This is the beginning of the collapse of leftist sentimentalism. It is the escape of leftist intellectual cowards who retreat from nihilism. Nihilism, the result of a mind that's reached its end - or a prelude to the beginning. After all, it's not as if Vlad the Impaler gave a hoot about morality, but he inspired his people.

    Point six I have no disagreement with.

    I'd replace point seven with a general contempt for those who cannot live life and think they can retreat from their inner misery by 'indulging' in popularised manufactured trash. The middle class are the officers of the economy, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with them, it's just the attitude held by the vast majority of them.
    All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream at night, in the dusky recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams, with open eyes, to make it possible.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cosmocreator's Avatar
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    Post Re: A revival of Romanticism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack
    What's that got to do with the subject? This is a discussion forum Cosmo, not a singles bar.
    No kidding. But the subject is romanticism. I would look at it encompassing relationships between a man and woman. No?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jack's Avatar
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    Post Re: A revival of Romanticism?

    I see what you mean - feminism is a far cry from romanticism and tradition.
    Last edited by Jack; Friday, January 2nd, 2004 at 04:32 AM.
    All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream at night, in the dusky recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams, with open eyes, to make it possible.

  9. #9
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    Post Re: A revival of Romanticism?

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocreator
    Just out of curiosity, have you ever gotten a restraining order against a man who was interested in you?


    I can't figure out how where this question comes from, but yeah, I have. I even had to move once and I've changed my phone number several times. Why? I guess I attract psychos.

    They always seem normal when I meet them, but then they go berserk after a few months or years with me. Haha...

    Hm. Hm. Hm. Who have you been talking to, Cosmo??? IT'S ALL LIES! LIES, I TELL YOU!

  10. #10
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    Post Re: A revival of Romanticism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack

    Pushkin:

    Point one's opposition between reason and passion is not contradictory, what should be done is the subordination of the mind to the blood. Mind without blood is nihilism - but I do not consider this a problem, merely a statement that the mind is not an end in itself.

    For point two, I don't know whether personally I'm going to go get baptised, but I see no problem with pre-Vatican II Christianity (Vatican II caused a chain effect that tore the guts out of the rest of Christianity).

    I've stated I find Gothic architecture brilliant, so I'm all for the third point

    The 'exceptional man'. We live in an age where man is bound by weak sentimentalities ('we must serve humanity...'). This has a suffocating effect. Nihilism can consume these sentimentalities and grind them to a pulp, and leave room for the exceptional man.

    Point five is already occuring - witness the rise in 'new age spirituality'. This is the beginning of the collapse of leftist sentimentalism. It is the escape of leftist intellectual cowards who retreat from nihilism. Nihilism, the result of a mind that's reached its end - or a prelude to the beginning. After all, it's not as if Vlad the Impaler gave a hoot about morality, but he inspired his people.

    Point six I have no disagreement with.

    I'd replace point seven with a general contempt for those who cannot live life and think they can retreat from their inner misery by 'indulging' in popularised manufactured trash. The middle class are the officers of the economy, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with them, it's just the attitude held by the vast majority of them.

    Just for the record, Romanticism is in many ways much more than the list I posted. This list seemed to address most of the aspects of Romanticism that I felt were more compatible with our movement.

    There were many aspects of Romanticism that was incompatible with our movement as well. The narcissitic individualism of some Romantics was completely at odds with other Romantics who viewed the world as more of a organic community. Some Romantics hated nationalism while others embraced it. Many elements of Marxism and other destructive anti-European ideologies have their origins in Romanticism.

    So basically I believe in a revival of Folkish romanticism but not the more destructive aspects of romanticism.

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