THE ROMANTIC ENLIGHTENMENT: Ambiguity and Paradox for the Modern Mind by Geoffrey Clive

THE ROMANTIC ENLIGHTENMENT: Ambiguity and Paradox for the Modern Mind

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KIRKUS REVIEW

While this treatment of the Romantic Enlightenment, limited by the author to the years 1750-1920, can be read with profit by itself, it depends for maximum intelligibility upon the concurrent reading of many other books, and even the hearing of a few records. It suggests a textbook for a college or seminary course, which anyone interested in the subject could follow without resorting to cloistered halls. When the Romantic Enlightenment turned its back on a sterile classicism, and a rigid relationship between cultural expression and the exploded Christian unity on which it formerly hung, it passed through three phases. For the first eighty years there was general rejoicing over the ambiguities of an emancipated intelligence in rapport with free flowing emotion. During the next forty years, emotion and intelligence drew further and further apart, each seeming to flourish, but each beginning to miss its supporting partner. The final forty year phase saw strangeness and distortion pursued for their own sake as emotion and reflection lost their hold on each other. Dr. Winkler traces the remarkable influence and expression of this flourishing and ebbing of the Romantic Enlightenment through the music and literature of the 160-year period, using Mozart, Bach, Hume, James, Dostoevsky and others. Kirkegaard's thinking influences the whole book, including its organization. Quite ambitious in the amount of material covered, this book demands reader cooperation, with the reader's hard work rewarding him with a real understanding of the basis of much of our culture today.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1960
Publisher: Meridian