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Romanticism; nature, the individual and the sublime Literature and Nature University of Helsinki / Comparative Literature, 10.11.2014 Pekka Raittinen M.A.

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Presentation on theme: "Romanticism; nature, the individual and the sublime Literature and Nature University of Helsinki / Comparative Literature, 10.11.2014 Pekka Raittinen M.A."— Presentation transcript:

1 Romanticism; nature, the individual and the sublime Literature and Nature University of Helsinki / Comparative Literature, Pekka Raittinen M.A.

2 WHY ROMANTICISM? ”We are all – like it or not – children of the Enlightenment and Romanticism”. (Tuomas M.S. Lehtonen) Individualism and nature – s.c. ”self- actualization ” ”Young Werther” type; Byron, John Keats, Percy Shelley

3 COLIN CAMPBELL: THE ROMANTIC ETHIC AND THE SPIRIT OF MODERN CONSUMERISM (1987)

4 ENGLISH ROMANTICISM AND ”THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION” So-called agricultural revolution (1750 – 1850) contra Industrial Revolution Enclosure Acts => Rationalization of agriculture William Blake ”The Satanic Mills” John Clare (1793 – 1864) – a working class poet of the countryside

5 THE SUBLIME Cannot be measured or imitated Edmund Burke Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1756) Burke first distinguished the beautiful from the sublime Related, but not antithetical, the grotesque

6 PERCY SHELLEY’S ”MONT BLANC” (1816) “Mont Blanc appears – still, snowy, and serene; Its subject mountains their unearthly forms…” In response to earlier poem by Coleridge Grand Tour and turism

7 WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (1770 – 1850) Radical in his youth, influenced by the French Revolution Poet of the Lake District Holistic view of man and nature vs. distance of man’s imagination from nature Topografical poetry, of naming places

8 Central Works of Wordsworth Lyrical Ballads (1798), (with Samuel Taylor Coleridge) Lyrical Ballads with Other Poems (1800) Poems in Two Volumes (1807) Guide to the Lakes (1810) The Excursion (1814) The Predlude (1850)

9 JAMES FENIMORE COOPER (1789 – 1851) Father judge William Cooper, Cooperstown, New York Influenced by the historical novels of sir Walter Scott Leatherstocking series Leatherstocking a.k.a Natty Bumppo – a figure containing the virtues of both civilization and wilderness

10 DARK SIDE OF THE SUBLIME AMERICAN ROMANTICISM –

11 HAWTHORNE, MELVILLE, POE… Unlike for Emerson and Thoreau, nature in H., M., and P. is dark and unknowable Themes of sin and evil, s.c. American Gothic Thoreau ”ecophilia”  Poe ”ecophobia” (Taylor 2012)

12 Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter She had wandered, without rule or guidance, in a moral wilderness; as vast, as intricate and shadowy, as the untamed forest, amid the gloom of which they were now holding a colloquy that was to decide their fate. Her intellect and heart had their home, as it were, in desert places, where she roamed as freely as the wild Indian in his woods.

13 FINNISH ROMANTICISM AND THE FORMATION OF A NATION Eliel Lönnrot Kalevala (f.ed. 1835) and Kanteletar (1840) J.L. Runeberg Elgskyttarne, Hirvenhiihtäjät (1832) Zacharias Topelius Maamme kirja (1875) Seitsemän veljestä – between realism and romanticism

14 NATIONAL ROMANTICISM Late offspring of Romanticism and Fin De Siècle Symbolism Akseli Gallen- Kallela, Jean Sibelius, Eliel Saarinen et al. In literature Juhani Aho, Eino Leino etc.


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