Revolutionary Romanticism: A Drunken Boat Anthology

Max Blechman

Published by City Lights Publishers, 2001
ISBN 10: 0872863514 / ISBN 13: 9780872863514
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Revolutionary Romanticism draws on almost two centuries of intertwined traditions of cultural and political subversion. In this rich collection of writings by artists, scholars, and revolutionaries, the transgressions of the past are recaptured and transvalued for the benefit of the struggles of today and tomorrow.

Along the way, new light is shed on the radical sensibilities of Novalis, Friedrich Hölderlin, and Friedrich Schlegel and the profoundly oppositional poetics of Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, Lord Byron, and William Blake. The social romanticism of Jules Michelet is acclaimed for its visionary, quasi-religious breadth. The Paris Commune is figured by Karl Marx, Jules Vallès, and Arthur Rimbaud. All-but-forgotten episodes of German expressionism and anarchism are recalled. The romantic outlook of Walter Benjamin and Herbert Marcuse is relocated in their absolute negation of the social order. Surrealism, "the prehensile tail of romanticism," is followed to Haiti where it catalyzes revolt. And, at the end of the twentieth century, Guy Debord and the Situationist International provide the passionate détournement of the romantic project.

"Drunken Boat is a courageous and worthy effort to maintain alive, in a difficult period, unfettered critical thinking. It ought to be supported by all who care about freedom and justice." —Cornelius Castoriadis, author of The Imaginary Institution of Society

"In a period when politics is dreary and political art clichéd, Drunken Boat is brilliantly alive and unconventional. It summons up a world where subversion spelled art and art spelled liberation; but Drunken Boat is more than a blast from the past: it speaks to the present. Drunken Boat is the vessel of choice for these bored with chartered cruises and organized day-trips." —Russell Jacoby, author of The Last Intellectuals

". . . an illuminating collection of essays that surveys the evolution–and common threads–of romantic political thought over the last 200 years." —San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Provides a readable, comprehensive history of 'a continued Vision' at odds with an empirical world." —Austin Chronicle


From Library Journal: The meaning of Revolutionary Romanticism, according to Blechman, is to be found by looking past the achievements of the market economy. The essence of Revolutionary Romanticism, a movement drawing on traditions of cultural and political subversion throughout the last two centuries, can be tapped by reflecting on what was being lost in the process of modernity and attempting, in this respect, to answer the question "What is the good life?" This more or less coherent collection of contributions by representative thinkers, artists, and revolutionaries offers a true perspective of their philosophy. They consider themselves pioneers not only in radical political fields but also in feminism, ecology, and community-based economics. The contributions tend to be philosophical, requiring a minimum awareness of the history and development of Romanticism in Europe since at least the middle of the 19th century. Highly recommended for large public libraries and all academic collections.AAli Houissa, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Title: Revolutionary Romanticism: A Drunken Boat ...
Publisher: City Lights Publishers
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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