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After UtopiaThe Decline of Political Faith$
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Judith N. Shklar

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691200859

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691200859.001.0001

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The Romantic Mind

The Romantic Mind

The Background: Rousseau, Godwin, and Kant

(p.26) Chapter II The Romantic Mind
After Utopia

Judith N. Shklar

Princeton University Press

This chapter investigates how Romanticism found its first clear expression in the aesthetic revolt against the Enlightenment. It discusses the awakening of the “unhappy consciousness” even before Romanticism appeared in the literary world, which was at odds with society and every established faith. It also describes how Romanticism was nourished by two streams of feeling: a longing for a more purely aesthetic culture and a profound disgust for the rationalist excesses of the Enlightenment. The chapter provides the distinction between romantic feeling and Romanticism proper, which is particularly important in tracing the origins of the movement. It mentions Jean-Jacques Rousseau as the first great example of romantic feeling, although his philosophy is not romantic at all.

Keywords:   Romanticism, Enlightenment, unhappy consciousness, literary world, aesthetic culture, Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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