The Triumph of Imperfection
The Silver Age of Sociocultural Moderation in Europe, 1815-1848
Subverting the conventional approach to romanticism, Nemoianu argues for a balance between works composed in Western and Central Europe. From this fresh starting point, he analyzes texts from authors both remembered and forgotten, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, François Auguste-René de Chateaubriand, and Robert Southey. He considers their approach to educational techniques, the aesthetics of religion, and the interplay of history writing with fiction and contends that, in dealing with the radical changes of their day, thinkers, writers, statesmen, and reformers of the period sought a practical accommodation between the avalanche of revolutionary ideas and the intellectual history that had shaped the past millennia. Nemoianu suggests that at the center of this reconciliation was an acceptance of the notion of imperfection, of partial victories, and of a deliberate search for moderation and balance.
Sure to spark scholarly debate, Nemoianu underscores the value and relevance of the moderating influences he finds in romanticism for the intellectual and social questions facing the current century.
About the Author
"Awesome in intellectual breadth, profound in cultural ideas, and genuinely comparative in linguistic scope, The Triumph of Imperfection is a real triumph—a stunning complement to Nemoianu's earlier The Taming of Romanticism. Looking beyond the literature of 1815–1848, the author here shows how the implosion of romanticism in Europe and America manifested itself in historiography, religious thought, travel writing, multiculturalism, and the 'ethos of learning,' while exposing provocative parallels to many issues of our own times."—Theodore Ziolkowski, author of German Romanticism and its Institutions and Ovid and the Moderns
Other Titles by Virgil Nemoianu
Other Titles in LITERARY CRITICISM / European / General