19 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2022
    1. Under the Romantics’ influence, imitation did not merely become less favoredthan previously. It came to be actively disdained and disparaged—an attitudethat was carried forward into succeeding decades. The naturalists of the latenineteenth century described imitation as the habit of children, women, and“savages,” and held up original expression as the preserve of European men.Innovation climbed to the top of the cultural value system, while imitation sankto an unaccustomed low.



  2. Nov 2020
    1. yet each tree was touched here and there with vivid snatches of the brightest red; the smaller twigs close to the trunk forming brilliant crison tufts, like knots of ribbon. One might have fancied them a band of young knights, wearing their ladies’ colors over their hearts. A pretty flowering dogwood close at hand, with delicate shaft and airy branches, flushed with its own peculiar tint of richest lake, was perchance the lady of the grove, the beauty whose colors were fluttering on the breasts of the knightly oaks on either side.

      This writing is an absolute perfect example of romanticized and even heroic themed literature. The personification of the trees as characters who complement each other paired with the reoccurring theme of the application of femininity to nature both contribute to American pastoral romanticism. The careful, detailed, and delicate descriptions of nature within this excerpt are key signs of its romantic qualities, which results in the reader consuming nature more poetically and intellectually. This influence creates and supports a relationship with nature that is characterized by inspiration, awe, and observance. This personified narrative supports pastoral leaning tones by emphasizing a courted relationship between the trees and describes the dogwood as this desired beauty of many. This leads one to further question what American pastoralism exactly means. Here Gordon M. Sayre points out the oxymoron of the idea. “In Marx’s formulation American pastoralism is an ideology that has mediated conflicting desires for technological progress and bucolic retreat, “a desire, in the face of the growing power and complexity of organized society, to disengage from the dominant culture and to seek out the basis for a simpler, more satisfying mode of life in a realm ‘closer,’ as we say, to nature”” (1). This definition understands American pastoralism as a progressive search for technological advance, but also as a desire to live a simpler life more in touch with nature. I think Cooper’s A Dissolving View leans heavily into an emotional connection with nature, but not so much in a simple way. This poetic comprehension of nature provides a deep appreciation and admiration of nature which submits to the gratuity motifs of pastoralism, but more so aligns with a romantic enlightening idea of nature.

      Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory, Volume 69, Number 4, Winter 2013, pp. 1-23 (Article)

  3. Jan 2020
    1. Just as the Enlightenment had deified Reason, so Shelley and other Romantics deified what I have been calling “the Imagination.”

      What is revolutionary about this?

    2. Romanticism

      " a thesis about the nature of human progress. "

  4. Dec 2019

      The novel’s subtitle invokes the trickster hero of Greek mythology, Prometheus, who defies the Gods by stealing fire (a symbol of knowledge) and giving it to humanity. Akin to Victor Frankenstein, Prometheus is also credited with the creation of man, which he fashions out of clay. As punishment for the disobedience, Zeus condemns Prometheus to eternal torment: he is chained to a rock for eternity while an eagle feeds on his liver. Shelley’s husband Percy would later take up the Prometheus myth in the closet drama Prometheus Unbound, published in 1819. Reading the novel against the myth, we can understand Prometheus’s punishment for the Gods akin to Victor’s psychological torment for defying nature.

    2. laudanum

      A tincture of opium, laudanum was popular among some English writers of the Romantic period including, most notably, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Thomas de Quincey, whose Confessions of an English Opium Eater specifically related his experiences with and addiction to the drug.

    3. the “very poetry of nature.

      Victor quotes Leigh Hunt's poem "The Story of Rimini," published in 1816--a poem Victor could not, of course, have known in the novel's fictional time frame that ends in summer 1799. Like the passage from Percy Shelley's "Mutability," this line from Hunt's poem belongs to the novel's extra-diagetic address to readers of 1818 rather than to canons of novelistic realism. Clerval is once again made an avatar of the Romantic poet that by 1818 had become solidly esconced in the British cultural imaginary.

    4. I shall kill no albatross,

      This expression is a reference to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," in which the Mariner inexplicably slays an albatross. The allusion may imply that Walton will play the role of Coleridge's Wedding Guest instead: he will listen to Victor's long, obsessive story that will ultimately be a confession of guilt, like the Ancient Mariner' tale. Since the poem was not published until September 1798, this reference also places the "17--" date of these letters as the summer of 1799. On the poem's role in the novel, see Beth Lau, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Frankenstein," in Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the Sciences of Life, ed. Nicholas Roe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001): 207-23.

    5. in Clerval I saw the image of my former self

      This is what Wordsworth says of his sister Dorothy in the final section of "Tintern Abbey"--she is an image of his former self, the one enraptured by the cataracts of 1793, his first visit to the Wye Valley, not the matured mind speaking in the poem of 1798. However, now it is Victor who sees in Henry Clerval his own "former" and potential self--inquisitive and open to possibility, rather than the blasted tragic self Victor now sees himself as having become.

    1. “We will each write a ghost story,” said Lord Byron

      Along with Percy Shelley and Mary, Lord Byron, his sister Claire Clairmont, and their friend John Polidori huddled in the Villa Diodati on the shore of Lake Geneva and vowed to write ghost stories modeled on the German horror tales of the volume Fantasmagoriana (1812). While Percy Shelley and Lord Byron did not fulfill their vow to write such tales, Polidori wrote the kernel of "The Vampyre" (published in 1819), while Mary wrote the first draft of Frankenstein.

    2. Lord Byron, who was writing the third canto of Childe Harold

      Lord Byron (1788-1824) had published the first two cantos of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, a poetic sensation across Europe that give him instant celebrity, in 1812. Canto 3 would be published in 1816 and Canto 4 in 1818.

  5. Oct 2019
    1. Romantics, men and women are creative spirits with an inexhaustible power to transform their world.

      Romanticism viewed the world, and individuals, in such a wy that it also implied a different value in literature.

  6. Apr 2019
    1. terrific grandeur of the ocean in a storm

      An example of the use of the ocean in the aesthetic expression of the romantic century. Images of the sea became a significant ingredient of romantic expression, and continued to emerge in the language, literature, art, and music of the nineteenth century.

      Read more about the ocean and its relationship to Romanticism here

  7. Dec 2018
    1. the sublimities

      The idea of the "sublime" was a major concept in Romanticism (and was also associated with grandeur). It was defined by many essayists as "an expression of great spirit," something that "excites the ideas of pain and spirit." Christian Hirshfield (1742-1792) identified it as "physical grandeur transformed into spiritual grandeur." Source).

    2. impugn the sense

      Sir Edward's passionate praise of the Romantic novel is reminiscent of Marianne's dramatic speeches in Sense and Sensibility. This is slightly ironic considering that Edward's earlier rejection of the novel in favor of works that can be used to better oneself falls more under Sense than Sensibility.

    3. The sea air and sea bathing together were nearly infallible, one or the other of them being a match for every disorder of the stomach, the lungs or the blood

      This paragraph about the healing powers of the sea seems to be a dip into romanticism. The belief that the unfiltered nature can and will do so much for you reminds me a lot of what we dealt with with Marianne and Wilhoughby. Less relevantly, I miss the ocean.

  8. Jul 2018
  9. Feb 2014
    1. Romanticism was born as a contradictory response to these developments. It was an opposition to capitalism, but one expressed through the language of private property and the assumptions inherited from the philosophical discourse that legitimated capitalism’s mode of production. Romanticism denounced the alienation and loss of independence spawned by industrial production and market relations, and portrayed the artist in heroic opposition to the drive for profit.

      reminds of "NC" contradiction