Student Question

Do we live in a Romantic age?

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When I think of the Romantic period, I think of the connection between Man and Nature. Wordsworth and Melville are two great examples of Romantic era writers who expressed this connection in their major works. 

William Blake and others liked to look at Nature as it exists in humans, exploring the ways our inner workings are governed by forces that we are born with and which we may not always be fully aware of (or of which we may not fully approve).

This set of ideas makes me think the answer is no. We do not live in an age when our arts express a connection to nature that is intrinsic to our beings, uplifting to our basic instincts, or pulsing through our veins. We are too far along the path to becoming cyborgs for this to be true, our notion of self is too augmented.

And that's ok. It's fine to be on the path to becoming symbiotic with technology, but, it seems to me, we can't be symbiotic with nature and technology at the same time.  

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The romanticists dealt with the primacy of the emotions and often the effect of the supernatural. I can see that a case could be made that we do that in a lot of today's art and media. Look at the popularity of Stephen King (and all of his cronies) and the prevalence of the supernatural in so many movies. How about the whole Harry Potter thing and resurgence of The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia

For plain, old straightforward romance, consider Nicholas Sparks. His type of writing puts a premium on emotions.

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To me, the Romantic Age is a district period that has passed.  However, we share some characteristics.  I do believe our modern age basically has a lot of self-expression.  The idea of art and unique ideas is present.  It takes a different form, and much of it is tied to technology.

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