European Romanticism: Literary Cross-currents, Modes, and Models

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9780814321096: European Romanticism: Literary Cross-currents, Modes, and Models

In European Romanticism, Gerhart Hoffmeister assembles eighteen essays to demonstrate that romanticism can be properly understood only within the international context that alone accounts for the exciting blend of heterogeneous literary and intellectual impulses.

Contributions from recognized scholars provide this broader view of romanticism by cutting across national frontiers, investigating cross-currents of a stylistic mode and setting, analyzing mythical figures and literary protagonists, as well as examining works of exemplary European writers. The combined effect is a substantive view of the diversity and internal tensions of national romanticisms and demonstrate that their main developments were, in fact, interwoven and interdependent.

Hoffmeister holds that for romanticism truly to be termed European, it is imperative that literary texts themselves be studied free from the perspective of other disciplines. When examined and compared without recourse to theories or social systems, similarities and differences in texts, often masked by theoretical or social presuppositions embedded within a single national tradition, are discovered. The contributors therefore investigate a cross-section of literary materials rather than concentrate on the political and social upheaval associated with the Age of Romanticism.

What Hoffmeister and his colleagues have shown beyond any doubt is that, just as there are no limits to the legacy of romanticism in our time, there are no limits to comparative analyses along the lines they develop.

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A collection of eighteen essay to demonstrate that romanticism can be properly understood only within the international context that alone accounts for the exciting blend of heterogeneous literary and intellectual impulses.

About the Author:

Gerhart Hoffmeister was born in Germany and attended schools in Europe and the United States. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and is currently professor of German at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has published several workds on German literature and European romanticism. His most recent books include Byron und der europäische Byronismus and Goethe und di eeuropäischRomantik.

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