The Current of Romantic Passion

The Current of Romantic Passion

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Deftly probing the ambivalence of Romantic writers on the subjects of a€œpassiona€ and a€œbeauty, a€ Robinson shows how this ambivalence is also central to the experience of the modern critic in Western society. Is the reader's experience of beauty in art an escape from troubling reality? Or does desire for beauty spur social criticism and reform? Does the representation of erotic passion, as a sign of social critique, exist to be transcended for disinterested spirituality? Or is such passion the very site of the struggle for individual and class rights? Robinson explores the problematic place of passion and beauty in Romanticisma€™s radical sentiments and reformist politics. Tracing the intertwining of desire and disturbance, of eros and subversion, his meditations encompass poems, novels, diaries; key terms (such as Rousseaua€™s a€œsentiment of existencea€); writersa€™ characteristic forms of expression or habits of mind (Wordswortha€™s a€œora€-grammar); figures in literary works (Goethea€™s Werther, Byrona€™s Lambro); problems of genre (the relationship of the Romantic poem and the Romantic essay, the problem of closure, the nature of a a€œscenea€); and larger political questions (feminism in Romantic literature, erotic passion and representations of radicalism). Evoking the original meaning of a€œessaya€ as experiment, Robinson has essayed a topography of the Romantic landscape. qThis book is daring and it is brilliant. I also think it is€”James R. Kincaid, University of Southern Californiaaquot;The Fightaquot; is one of the most passionately written pieces of prose in the later Romantic period, and it is about a passion, the passion for sport. Most of the essay takes place not at the scene of the fight between Bill Neate and Tom Hickmananbsp;...

Title:The Current of Romantic Passion
Author: Jeffrey Cane Robinson
Publisher:Univ of Wisconsin Press - 1991

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