Romanticism (or the Romantic Era) was an artistic, literaryand intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution In part, it was a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but hada major impact on historiography, education and natural history.
The movement validated strong emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as trepidation, horror and terror and awe especially that which is experienced in confronting the sublimity of untamed nature and its picturesque qualities, both new aesthetic categories. It elevated folk artand ancient custom to something noble, made of spontaneity a desirable character (as in the musical impromptu), and argued for a "natural" epistemology of human activities as conditioned by nature in the form of language and customary usage.
Romanticism reached beyond the rational and Classicist ideal models to elevate a revived medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived to beauthentically medieval, in an attempt to escape the confines of population growth, urban sprawl, and industrialism, and it also attempted to embrace the exotic, unfamiliar, and distant in modes more authentic than Rococo chinoiserie, harnessing the power of the imagination to envision and to escape.
In a basic sense, the term "Romanticism" has been used to refer to certain artists, poets,writers, musicians, as well as political, philosophical and social thinkers of the late 18th and early to mid 19th centuries. It has equally been used to refer to various artistic, intellectual, and social trends of that era. Despite this general usage of the term, a precise characterization and specific definition of Romanticism have been the subject of debate in the fields of intellectual history andliterary history throughout the 20th century, without any great measure of consensus emerging.
Many intellectual historians have seen Romanticism as a key movement in the Counter-Enlightenment, a reaction against the Age of Enlightenment. Whereas the thinkers of the Enlightenment emphasized the primacy of reason, Romanticism emphasized intuition, imagination, andfeeling, to a point that has led to some Romantic thinkers being accused of irrationalism.
Romanticism focuses on Nature: a place free from society's judgment and restrictions. Romanticism blossomed after the age of Rationalism, a time that focused on handwork and scientific reasoning.
• Genius, originality, authorship
The Romantic movement developed the idea of the absolute originality and artisticinspiration by the individual genius, which performs a "creation from nothingness;" this is the so-called Romantic ideology of literary authorship, which created the notion of plagiarism and the guilt of a derivativeness. This idea is often called "romantic originality." The romantic poets' turned their beliefs on originality into "the institution of originality. The English poet John Milton, wholived in the 17 century, was part of the origin of the concept.
This idea was in contrast with the preceding artistic tradition, in which copying has been seen a fundamental practice of the creative process; and has been especially challenged since the beginning of the 20th century, with the boom of the modernist and postmodern movement.
• Washington Irving-“A Republic of Prairie Dogs”...