Petersdorff, Dirk von: Romantik
Romantics are people who believe in a supreme truth and a goal in life, but have not yet found both. Therefore they keep moving. As Novalis put it: "We look for the unconditional everywhere, and always find only things." Romanticism is explained from this central idea: as an epoch that begins around 1800 and whose impulses continue to have an effect up to the present; as a movement that primarily informs literature, but also takes hold of other arts and even the practice of life; with an emphasis on German, but side glances into English and American culture. This introduction begins with residential communities in Berlin, Jena, and Heidelberg, followed by chapters on "romanticizing" one's own life, romantic images, and irony, then political romanticism, love, and finally the dark sides of romanticism, aimlessness and depression.
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