romanticism

August Wilhelm Schlegel and his Shakespeare Translations

August Wilhelm Schlegel and his Shakespeare Translations

On September 8, 1767, German poet, translator, and critic August Wilhelm Schlegel was born, who became a foremost leader of German Romanticism. He is best known for his translations of Shakespeare‘s works into German. “The poetry of the ancients was that of possession, ours is that of longing, which is firmly rooted in the present, which is caught between memory and punishment.” – August Wilhelm Schlegel, Lectures on dramatic art and literature,…
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Samuel Taylor Coleridge and English Literary Romanticism

Samuel Taylor Coleridge and English Literary Romanticism

On July 25, 1834, English poet, literary critic and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge passed away. Together with his friend William Wordsworth, he is considered the founder of the Romantic Movement in England. He wrote the poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as the major prose work Biographia Literaria. His critical work, especially on Shakespeare, was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. It…
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The Conversational Eloquence of Madame de Staël

The Conversational Eloquence of Madame de Staël

On July 14, 1817, French woman of letters of Swiss origin Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein, commonly known as Madame de Staël, passed away. She was one of Napoleon’s principal opponents. Celebrated for her conversational eloquence, she participated actively in the political and intellectual life of her times. Her works, both critical and fictional, made their mark on the history of European Romanticism. She was a remarkable woman, and not all men…
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William Turner – Romantic Preface to Impressionism

William Turner – Romantic Preface to Impressionism

Probably on April 23, 1775, (and baptized May 14, 1775) English Romanticist landscape painter Joseph Mallord William Turner was born. Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day, but is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting. Although renowned for his oil paintings, Turner is also one of the greatest masters of British watercolour landscape painting commonly known as “the painter of light“. His…
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Bettina von Arnim and the Romantic Era’s Zeitgeist

Bettina von Arnim and the Romantic Era’s Zeitgeist

On April 4, 1785, German romantic author Elisabeth Catharina Ludovica Magdalena Brentano, better known as Bettina von Arnim was born. Moreover, she was a writer, publisher, composer, singer, visual artist, an illustrator, patron of young talent, and a social activist. She was the archetype of the Romantic era’s zeitgeist and the crux of many creative relationships of canonical artistic figures. Best known for the company she kept, she numbered among her closest friends…
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Nikolai Gogol and Russian Surrealism

Nikolai Gogol and Russian Surrealism

On March 4, 1852, Russian novelist Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol passed away, whose novel Myortvye dushi (Dead Souls) and whose short story “Shinel” (“The Overcoat”) are considered the foundations of the great 19th-century tradition of Russian realism. However, later critics have found in his work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strains of surrealism and the grotesque. “What a dreary world we live in, gentlemen.” — Nikolai Gogol, How the Two Ivans Quarrelled (1835)…
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Georg Büchner – Forerunner of Naturalism and Expressionism

Georg Büchner – Forerunner of Naturalism and Expressionism

On February 19, 1837, German dramatist, revolutionary, natural scientist, and writer Georg Büchner passed away at age 23. His literary achievements, though few in number, are generally held in great esteem in Germany and it is widely believed that, had it not been for his early death, he might have joined such central German literary figures as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [5] and Friedrich Schiller [6] at the summit of their profession. I admit, I…
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Hector Berlioz and the Symphonie Fantastique

Hector Berlioz and the Symphonie Fantastique

On December 11, 1803, French romantic composer Hector Berlioz was born. He is best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts (Requiem). Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra with his Treatise on Instrumentation. He specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works, and conducted several concerts with more than 1,000 musicians. “Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.” — Hector…
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William Blake – Poet, Painter, Visionary

William Blake – Poet, Painter, Visionary

On November 28, 1757, English poet, painter, and printmaker William Blake was born. Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual art of the Romantic Age. Both his artistic and literary works were largely rejected by his contemporaries. It was not until the mid-19th century that his very innovative works were discovered by the Pre-Raphaelites, gained general recognition, and later became popular in pop culture.…
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The Fairy Tale Collections of Ludwig Bechstein

The Fairy Tale Collections of Ludwig Bechstein

On November 24, 1801, German Writer, librarian, archivist and pharmacist Ludwig Bechstein was born. A collector of fairy tales, he is best known today for his edition of collected Fairy Tales. “The main thing is that everyone should fulfill his duty, enjoy life beautifully – and if he is a poet by God’s grace, delight and benefit.” – Ludwig Bechstein, Letter to Ludwig Storch, April 9, 1830 Ludwig Bechstein – Early Years…
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