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Romanticism and Modernity: Master Narrative and the Ideological Construction of Literary History
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature.
2011 (English)In: Constructions of German Romanticism: Six Studies / [ed] Mattias Pirholt, Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2011, 153-181 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Since the birth of romantic criticism with Mme de Staël’s De l’Alle- magne and Heine’s Die romantische Schule, Romanticism has been con- strued as either a progressive movement, the fulfilment of the tenden- cies articulated by Enlightenment, or a reactionary phase, preoccu- pied with subjective emotions rather than with the objective reality and embracing the irrationality of Sturm und Drang. The tendency in recent research is to focus on the progressive nature of Romanticism, which is seen as the continuation of the radical ideas of Enlighten- ment and the German response to the French Revolution. Romanti- cism is no longer construed as the break with rationalism, but rather as the transformation of it or the synthesis of rationality and irration- ality. In the field of aesthetics, on the other hand, the conception of Romanticism as anti-classical, anti-enlightened anti-mimetic prevails. Mimesis and poiesis are, according to this line of argument, mutually exclusive. Interestingly, the progressive interpretation coincides with the reactionary, which construes romanticism as a break with Enlight- enment and, consequently, as a break with mimeticism. In aesthetics, then, romantic reactionism and the narrative of modernity paradoxic- ally concur. To advocates of progression as well as of reaction, imita- tion constitutes a problematic relation of dependence between subject and object, a relation that undermines the autonomy of both subject and art, which is central to the idea of bourgeois modernity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2011. 153-181 p.
Historia litterarum, ISSN 0440-9078 ; 29
Keyword [en]
Romanticism, Ideology, Construction, Imitation
Keyword [de]
Romantik, Ideologie, Konstruktion, Nachahmung
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-172265ISBN: 978-91-554-8152-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-172265DiVA: diva2:513763
Swedish Research Council, 2010-7343
Available from: 2012-04-03 Created: 2012-04-03 Last updated: 2012-06-01Bibliographically approved

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