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date: 19 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In assessing the political charge of Romanticism, Georg Lukács castigated it for its irrationalism and proto-fascistic tendencies, while Jacques Barzun stressed its anti-totalitarian character, its promotion of individuality and diversity against imposed uniformity and coercion. More recent critics have produced a complex typology of Romantic political critiques of modernity, from restorationist conservative to utopian socialist. This chapter takes its lead from Hegel’s diagnosis of modern freedom, and of Romanticism’s place in it, locating common elements and variations in Romantic cultural critique. Among the recent revivals of the Romantic spirit are the counterculture of 1960s, and postmodern assaults on subjective coherence and rational autonomy. For all its limitations, the course of Romanticism is not yet run.

Keywords: Romanticism, freedom, Enlightenment, formativity, reflection, postmodernism, liberty.

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