Dark Romanticism & Transcendentalism: The American Renaissance/Naissance (1840-1860) Light Romanticism = Dark Romanticism = Transcendentalism = “Those who dream by day are aware of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” Edgar Allan Poe
Where did the DR/Gothic movement originate? I. DR Literature (Anti-Transcendentalism): I. DR Literature (Anti-Transcendentalism): Can the world be reshaped? Synonymous with gothic lit./novel. A. Pessimistic / Revealed man’s dark side (used dread, terror, suspense to hold attention) B. Psychological / Introspective C. Heavily symbolic D. Believed sin, pain, evil existed (tales of shame, obsession, revenge, madness) E. Nature cruel & unexplainable (ruins, overgrowth, dark forests, wind-swept plains) F. Depressed, insane characters (man is foolish and self-destructive) G. DR Heroes – lofty, haunted, alienated “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines.” --Ralph Waldo Emerson
H. Modern Impact? 1. Alluring antagonists “…evil is a consequence of good, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born.” Edgar Allen Poe G. US lack of tradition = Fear (history of strife / vast wilderness / classless society) 2. Persecuted young women 3. Fascination w/criminal process
II. Transcendental Literature: II. Transcendental Literature: Still positive but increasingly philosophical (thinking) side of Romanticism. A. Universe & individuals connected B. True reality is spiritual (contemplating nature leads to spirituality) C. Idealists (like Emerson & Thoreau) D. Linked to Concord, 1 st US artist’s colony E. Inspired by Immanuel Kant (18 th century philosopher) “Transcendentalism is often composed of nothing more substantial than smoke, moonshine, and raw potatoes.” Nathaniel Hawthorne F. Modern Impact? 1. Seeking beauty in life/nature 2. Belief in true love/contentment
Sentimentalism??? Uncle Tom’s Cabin Slide Frederick Douglass Autobiography??
“Where does the violet tint end and the orange tint begin? Distinctly we see the difference of the colors, but where exactly does the one first blending enter into the other. So with sanity and insanity.” Herman Melville