Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Romanticism

    This chapter on Romanticism seemed a bit inspiring and a bit bleak. Very transcedent. It seems that this romantic notion is exactly what I experienced last week while writing my post. A change from outer observation towards inner contemplation leading to a closer understanding of myself in relation to the world. While re-reading the chapter, the term "katharsis" is mentioned and I was reminded of my studies in aesthetics as an undergrad and the platonic concept of our feelings reaching the light. and Shelly's dark side of nature also reminded me of Kants theory of the "Sublime", in which one stands face to face with a frightening aspect of nature and in a moment of fear realizes that s/he is powerless, and that feeling is the sublime.
    I really liked the reference to the Aristotelian instinct and Platonic desire finding a resting place so that the turmoil could be settled and the ability for the person to recognize this internal battle. One way to combine these two is to say that the person in the cave is a projection of our suppressed animalian desires seeking to find release into the light through some means of catharsis. For some this may be Art, a walk in nature, or even some some of spirituality. Using these as a means to express and control our universal carnal instincts.
    Furthermore, this dichotomy is existent in so many popular culture references, whether it be in the internal struggle of good vs. evil or the Angel on one shoulder and the Devil on the other. Or the internal struggle of most comic book superheroes that everyone can seem to empathize with. It makes me wonder that if this identifiable human phenomenon is so essential to human nature that it exists historically and can still be felt and provide us with some link to the past and possibly the future. This is illustrated in the original poem and the following poems.
One impulse from a verbal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

1 comment:

  1. "the cave is a projection of our suppressed animalian desires seeking to find release into the light through some means of catharsis. For some this may be Art, a walk in nature, or even some some of spirituality" - Right, from a romantic perspective the cave is our buttoned-down, watered-down craving for conformist acceptance. Nature calls us out and away from that, towards a life of intense and personal feeling that resists the walking death of conformity (see the Emerson "self-reliance" quote above). But the trick is to be yourself in nature AND society, to shun only those elements of each that deprive you of yourself. It's surely not a coincidence that so many of the most intense young romantic poets died young. Wordsworth's the exception, but his romanticism (one could argue) did not age well with him.

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