A Characteristic Feature of the Aesthetics of Romanticism
In the history of culture, the era of the turn of the century (1790-1860s) was called the era of romanticism. American romanticism arose as a result of the American bourgeois revolution of 1776-1784 as a response to it. A revolution is something rude, destroys the beautiful, and an industrial revolution impoverishes life.
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At the heart of romanticism lies a sharp protest against bourgeois reality. At the same time, in 19th-century Europe, national literature consolidated the qualities that have evolved over almost a millennium and become their specific national features. American literature, like the nation, has not yet been decided. A whole class of English aristocracy disappeared in the country, but a new one was formed – the bourgeoisie, new laws dominated, new disappointments matured.
The world seemed unstable, devoid of the usual stability. So American romanticism was recognized to reflect the new patterns of public life, the emerging norms of new social institutions. A characteristic feature of the aesthetics of romanticism is the gap between ideals and reality, romantics are looking for their ideal in the field of dreams, contrasting the unsightly bourgeois world with a fictional world, their dream.
Romanticism in literature and art is a way of realizing romance as one of the properties of human thinking. The essence of romance is a dream, an ideal idea of the relationship between the inner reality of the individual and the surrounding reality. At the center of a romantic world relationship is always a human person who is able, through a dream, to overcome any external forces – natural and social.
Of great importance for the development of American literature and critical realism was the activity of the romanticist of Washington Irving. When it comes to the literature of American romanticism, his name is called one of the first. He is rightly considered the founder of American fiction, the father of the American short story.
Irving is the first American fiction writer to win European fame. This is the first romantic nominated by American literature. At that time, she was just beginning to gain her national identity.
And it was the generation of romantics who was honored to win international recognition with American literature.
Washington Irving and Fenimore Cooper were the first American writers who became famous in Europe and Russia, being the bearers of the history and culture of their country, although Irving in most of the short stories used European material, the American mentality was manifested in its processing. Irving found America-specific art problems.
In modern Irving America, great changes were taking place, uncertainty was felt in everything. This required an artistic rethinking. A new hero was needed – an ideal creature, highly moral, passionate, charming and free from social vices.
In real life he was not there, he was supposed to be an abstraction, a dream of the beautiful, fair, true. Irving succeeded in solving this problem – he was a pioneer, he developed a short story, a favorite genre of American writers
The conditional date of birth of the literary trend of romanticism should be considered 1808, when the almanac of Salving “Salmagundi”, written in co-authorship with Pauling, was published. Romanticism of America has the same historical background and aesthetic foundation as European:
Attention to the inner world of man; the principle of romantic double peace – romantics affirm the idea of imperfection of the real world and contrast the world of their imagination.
Both worlds are constantly compared, juxtaposed; interest in folklore – an idealization of European antiquity, ancient cultural life, is becoming one of the forms of protest against deception and prosaism of everyday bourgeois existence; complete creative freedom of the artist, rejection of normativity – from the very beginning, American romantics began to vigorously consider the traditional foundations of English prose, which was facilitated by an appeal to the material of national life, romantics mixed abstract essays with a specific description of the essay, picturesque landscapes with a dynamic plot of national legends and traditions.