Romanticism Some Historians and Literary Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Russian writers like Pushkin, Lermontov and Turgenev experienced with the symbols of Romanticism as they inevitably reached the remotest literary fecund corners of the continent. Turgenev lived in Europe for a while, at the very heart of Romanticism and his translated literary works received the acclaim of the critics and were welcomed by the public as well, showing him as an artist who became an integral part of the scene and not as an exotic outsider.

Lermontov, one of the most valuable poets of the Russian literature, remained an obscure writer for the rest of the world for a long time because of the poor translations of his literary works. Pushkin, who shared the same tragic death with Lermontov, was considered the genius of the Russian literature and after his works had found proper translations, he took his deserved place as one of the greatest poets of the universal literature Pushkin is considered the most important writer of the romantic period in the Russian literature, but his complex literary work goes far beyond such labeling.

Lermontov's, Taman, from a Hero of Our Time, Turgenev's Bezhin Meadow and Pushkin's the Queen of Spades are three literary pieces characterized by elements specific to Romanticism. The first two are predominantly romantic stories, while Pushkin's short story reveals traces of romanticism along with satire, realism and even some elements that will later be found in the gothic novel.

Be it the Byronian hero, Goethe's Werther or the anti-hero, these are symbols for those who, in spite of their refusal to integrate into a world they no longer feel they belong in, are the fruits of their times. They stand for one's struggle to reconfigure one's place in accordance with the society one belongs to.

The artistic world of the period of Romanticism, although devoted to the feelings, thus the inner life of humans, was nonetheless anchored in the realities of the nineteenth century with its social and political life.

The world had changed physically and spiritually and freedom gained new meanings. On the other hand, the Western world was far from freeing itself from the consequences of social injustice, slavery, despotism and poverty. Arthur O. Lovejoy sees the starting-point of Romanticism as "a massive historical fact which no one is likely to deny -- namely that in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, especially in the 1780s and 1790s, there were discovered, invented or revived, chiefly in Germany, a large number of ideas which have been relatively, tough not always absolutely unfamiliar or uninfluential through most of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries."

The French and American Revolutions were the expressions of Romanticism in the social and political life of those regions where philosophic and literary ideas entered the world of the politics. Science and religion were equally going through transformations as a result of new ideas and discoveries.

Romanticism did not generate a new world of artists and philosophers that encouraged the complete separation from social and political life. On the contrary, painters like Delacroix, Goya and Turner created paintings inspired by the most realistic subjects like: the fight for freedom, peasant's revolts and slavery, with the passion characteristic for the Romantic period.

Anderson, E.N. German Romanticism as an Ideology of Cultural Crisis Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Jun., 1941), pp. 301-317 Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Lovejoy, a.O. The Meaning of Romanticism for the Historian of Ideas Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Jun., 1941), pp. 257-278. Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Anderson, E.N. 1941, German Romanticism as an Ideology of Cultural Crisis, p.301

Anderson E.N. 1941. German Romanticism as an Ideology of Cultural Crisis. p. 302

Novalis, quted by Anderson

Schiller, J.C.F. von. Letters Upon the Aesthetic Education of Man, 1794, Letter II

Schiller, J.C.F. von. Letters Upon the Aesthetic Education of Man, 1794, Letter II

Baudelaire. What is Romanticism?


Lovejoy a.O. 1941. The Meaning of Romanticism for the Historian of Ideas.p. 260

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