Romanticism Reaction against Classicism (Enlightenment), which stressed reason, clarity, balance, order – empiricism. Romantics saw Enlightenment as reductive of human potential— mechanical, impersonal, and artificial. A lot of people say it started with Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher who stressed the creative power of the mind and saw nature as a responsive mirror of the soul. Romanticism emphasized imagination, emotions; freedom and individualism in looking at nature, humanity, society Looked to nature and the past to reveal qualities of the human spirit. Romantic ideas were revolutionary. Paralleled growing sense of nationalism in America. In Europe, Romantic thinking influenced and was influenced by the French Revolution. In England, Romantic ideas were associated with social reform. Characteristics emphasis on imagination as key to revealing the innermost depths of human spirit focus on the individual revolt against political authority and social convention cultivation of emotion and sensation for their own sakes celebration of the beauty and mystery of nature interest in the picturesque and exotic aspects of the past enthusiasm for portraying national life and character sense of idealism paradoxical tendency toward free thought and religious mysticism fascination with the supernatural and the gothic (the morbid, the melancholy, and the cruel) Beyond literature, social reforms grew out of emphasis on individual dignity and human rights -- abolitionism, women’s rights; gothic revival in architecture (medieval design carried eye and imagination upward); painting -- sweeping landscapes capture Romantic awe of nature American romantic writers: Charles Brockden Brown, James Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving, William Gilmore Simms, William Cullen Bryant, Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Longfellow, Whittier, and Whitman. Romantic musicians: Beethoven, Tchaikovsky,Berlioz, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann Romantic painters: Delacroix, Ingres, Corot, Millet, Goya Poe borrowed from European gothic romances -- preoccupied w/ dark, irrational side of the imagination (later Hawthorne) By 2nd half of 19th cent., Romanticism yields to Transcendentalism (upheld goodness of humanity, glories of nature, importance of individual) British Romantic Writers: William Blake, William Wordsworth, Robert Southey, Mary Shelley, Charles Lamb, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Shelley, Byron French Romantic Writers: Alexander Dumas, Chateaubriand, Victor Hugo, Rousseau, George Sand, Stendhal, Balzac German Romantic Writers: Grimm, Goethe, Heine Russian Romantic Writers: Pushkin, Zhukovsky, Batyushkov Always capitalize Romanticism.