Romanticism is a worldview that finds expression over a whole range of cultural fields-not only in literature and art but in philosophy, theology, political theory, and social movements. In Romanticism Against the Tide of Modernity Michael Loewy and Robert Sayre formulate a theory that defines romanticism as a cultural protest against modern bourgeois industrial civilization and work to reveal the unity that underlies the extraordinary diversity of romanticism from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century.
After critiquing previous conceptions of romanticism and discussing its first European manifestations, Loewy and Sayre propose a typology of the sociopolitical positions held by romantic writers-from "restitutionist" to various revolutionary/utopian forms. In subsequent chapters, they give extended treatment to writers as diverse as Coleridge and Ruskin, Charles Peguy, Ernst Bloch and Christa Wolf. Among other topics, they discuss the complex relationship between Marxism and romanticism before closing with a reflection on more contemporary manifestations of romanticism (for example, surrealism, the events of May 1968, and the ecological movement) as well as its future.
Students and scholars of literature, humanities, social sciences, and cultural studies will be interested in this elegant and thoroughly original book.
Michael Loewy is Research Director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Lecturer at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. Robert Sayre is Professor of Anglophone Literatures at the University of Marne-la-Vallee.
1. Redefining Romanticism The Romantic Enigma, or "Tumultuous Colors" The Concept of Romanticism The Romantic Critique of Modernity The Genesis of the Phenomenon 2. Romanticism: Political and Social Diversity Outline of a Typology Hypotheses for a Sociology of Romanticism 3. Excursus: Marxism and Romanticism Rosa Luxemburg Gyorgy Lukacs 4. Visages of Romanticism in the Nineteenth Century Romanticism and the French Revolution: The Young Coleridge Romanticism and the Industrial Revolution: The Social Critique of John Ruskin 5. Visages of Romanticism in the Twentieth Century Romanticism and Religion: The Mystical Socialism of Charles Peguy Romanticism and Utopia: Ernst Bloch's Daydream Romanticism as a Feminist Vision: The Quest of Christa Wolf 6. The Fire Is Still Burning: From Surrealism to the Present Day and Beyond Surrealism May 1968 Contemporary Mass Culture The New Social Movements The New Religious Movements The Contemporary Romantic Critique of Civilization What Future for Romanticism? Notes Works Cited Index