Romanticism. 1785-1830 (English) 1830-1865 (American). Classicism (8 th century BCE-fall of Rome 5 th century: Plato, Homer, etc.) Medievalism (“middle ages” 5 th century-15 th century: Dante, Chaucer) Renaissance (“Elizabethan” 15 th -mid17 th century: Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth)
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Classicism (8th century BCE-fall of Rome 5th century: Plato, Homer, etc.)
Medievalism (“middle ages” 5th century-15th century: Dante, Chaucer)
Renaissance (“Elizabethan” 15th-mid17th century: Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth)
Neo-Classicism (“Enlightenment” mid-17th-1830: Voltaire, Pope, Hobbes)
Romanticism (1785-1830: Wordsworth, Emerson, Poe)
Victorianism (1830-1901: Queen Victoria, Tennyson, Brownings)
Realism/Naturalism (1860-1914: Flaubert, London, Sinclair)
Modernism (1914-1945: Yeats, Lawrence, Faulkner, Pound, Eliot)
Post-Modernism (1945-1990?: Derrida, Baudrillard, Foucault)
Post-Post-Modernism (1990-? Crash, Magnolia)
Less like a precise yardstick that cleanly delineates the distinct beginning and end of an era
And more like a wave on a beach that gathers up the receding wave that came before and mixes it all together.
Neo-Classicism and the “Age of Enlightenment”
Galileo (Italy) and Kepler (Germany): Heliocentrism
Isaac Newton (England): Laws of motion and gravity.
Francis Bacon (England): Knowledge emanates not from Church or books, but from observation and generalization (empiricism).
Rene Descartes (France): the only thing we really know is that we think (“I think; therefore, I am”); therefore, reason (not faith) is the building block for knowledge.
Reason and logic good; emotion and “enthusiasm” bad.
The universe is orderly, precise, and predictable; society should be, too.
Children, the “uncultivated,” and
“primitive” people are especially
interesting because they are relatively
“unspoiled” by society’s influence.
Emotions and impulses are the most “natural” of human manifestations and since that which is human is good, emotions are really good. Poetry becomes “the spontaneous overflow of emotion recollected in tranquility” (Wordsworth).
In fact, an individual can be uplifted morally and spiritually by cultivating a greater sensitivity to feeling (e.g. empathy could be a seed for social change).
Reason…not so good. “Deep thinking is attainable only by a man of deep feeling.” (Coleridge)
Mysticism, dreams/nightmares, the supernatural, and psychological extremes, instead (Confessions of an Opium Eater by Thomas De Quincey). The addition of “strangeness to beauty.”