Romanticism at the End of History by Professor Jerome Christensen

By Professor Jerome Christensen

The Romantics lived via a flip of the century that, like our personal, appeared to mark an finish to background because it had lengthy been understood. They confronted sped up swap, together with extraordinary kingdom energy, armies in a position to mass destruction, a polyglot imperial procedure, and a marketplace economic climate pushed by way of hypothesis. In Romanticism on the finish of background, Jerome Christensen demanding situations the present trust that the Romantics have been reluctant to reply to social injustice. via provocative and looking readings of the poetry of Wordsworth; the poems, feedback, and journalism of Coleridge; the Confessions of De Quincey; and Sir Walter Scott's Waverley, Christensen concludes that in advanced occasions of warfare and revolution English Romantic writers have been pressured to redefine their function as artists.

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On whom those truths do rest, Which we are toiling all our lives to find, In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave. . ’’ Coleridge later asks. ’ . . These would be tidings indeed; but such as would pre-suppose an immediate revelation to the inspired communicator, and require miracles to authenticate his inspiration. ∞∫ Wordsworth’s embedded fiction of a Letheward hand corresponds to the Irishman’s fanciful notion of a malignant hand that changed him at nurse. The Romantic Movement at the End of History Coleridge’s ‘‘I was a fine child but they changed me’’ distills the dependence of Wordsworth’s notion of change as alteration on an unreasoned synonymity with exchange as substitution.

In practice, individuality does not oppose common purpose; individuality is the common purpose. On the way individuality commonly matters Coleridge is precise: ‘‘This principium commune essendi et cognoscendi, as subsisting in a will, or primary act of self-duplication, is the mediate or indirect principle of every science’’ (BL, 1:281). That every science requires a mediate principle is a plausible claim; and it is fitting that the transcendental science would name what is common to knowing and being as ‘‘will’’; but it is a surprise that Coleridge does not write ‘‘the’’ will, that self-determining faculty which guarantees freedom, but ‘‘a’’ will—as if it were not quite recognizable, as if it were any will.

Courtesty Special Collections, Milton S. Eisenhower Library of the Johns Hopkins University. The Romantic Movement at the End of History Fukuyama, Jameson, and Hobsbawm, which moves confidently from the archaic to the postmodern, from the prepolitical to the posthistorical, I would substitute one closer to that proposed by the Romantic paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould in Wonderful Life. ’’ He urges the application of the thought experiment called ‘‘replaying life’s tape’’ as a means to adjudge the necessity of the way things have turned out.

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