Concerned with the intermingled thematic and formal preoccupations of Romantic thought and literary practice in works by twentieth-century British, Irish, and American artists, this collection examines the complicated legacy of Romanticism in twentieth-century novels, poetry, and film. Even as key twentieth-century cultural movements have tried to subvert or debunk Romantic narratives of redemptive nature, individualism, perfectibility, and the transcendence of art, the forms and modes of feeling associated with the Romantic period continue to exert a signal influence on the modern moment - both as a source of tension and as creative stimulus. As the essays here show, the exact meaning of the Romantic bequest may be bitterly contested, but it has been difficult to leave behind. The contributors take up a wide range of authors, including Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald, W. H. Auden, Doris Lessing, Seamus Heaney, Hart Crane, William Faulkner, Don DeLillo, and Jonathan Franzen. What emerges from this lively volume is a fuller picture of the persistence and variety of the Romantic period's influence on the twentieth-century.
"The recovery of formalism within Romantic Studies over the past six or seven years has meant a return to literary form and its transmission over time. This volume promises to revitalize the debate about how Romanticism helped make Modernism, and about why Modernism continues to deny its inheritance. This is the time for it." - Anne Janowitz, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
"… the volume is pleasingly presented, and includes a bibliography that will be of value to scholars embarking on the exploration of this intriguing area of study." - The Wordsworth Circle
"[T]he essays collected here justifies the title by drilling deeper and considering the specific formal approaches to figuring the temporally fragmented self that is Romanticism's key legacy to twentieth-century Modernism … The diversity and sophistication of these accounts of Romanticism's legacy are richly illuminating of both of its sources and inheritors …" - Romanticism