As a literature graduate, I see people thinking that romanticism is the same as romance… and not exactly… a romance novel is not always romanticism, but romanticism can sometimes go in had with romance or romantic themes…
You would see that it has nothing to do with love or love stories. You might find some love stories due to the “exaltation of emotions over reason” for example, but it won’t be the typical “The Notebook” story.
But what is Romanticism?
This is a movement characterized by many works of literature, painting, architecture, criticism, and others that took place in Western civilization over a period from the late 18th to the mid-19th century.
There are important elements in the romanticism movement that characterized the novels in this movement:
- A deep appreciate of the beauties of nature. (The all mighty and powerful nature.)
- An exaltation of emotions over reason and intellect. (We might see the romance part here… crazy in love and other Beyonce songs)
- Imagination and its importance as a gateaway to trascendent experiences and spiritual truth
- A predilection for the exotic, weird, mysterious, occult, diseased (Victorian freak shows), the remote (secret islands), and the satanic..
So, what are some of the most predominant Romantic novels?
Let us focus first on the novels that have “an obsessive interest in folk culture, national, and ethnic cultural origins, and the medieval era“
The Brothers Grimm collected the original fairy tales that Americans are most familiar with today. Lyrically translated and beautifully narrated by an all-star cast, these 21 tales are selected from The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales and presented just as Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm originally set them down: bold, primal, just frightening enough, and endlessly engaging.
Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author and poet. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales, a literary genre he so mastered that he himself has become as mythical as the tales he wrote. Andersen’s popularity is not limited to children; his stories — called eventyrs, or “fantastic tales” — express themes that transcend age and nationality.
This is a movement that goes in had with the original Romanticism. They shared the same aspects and elements, but they tend to be maybe a bit more supernatural and Sci-Fi…
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