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RealpoetikEuropean Romanticism and Literary Politics$
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Paul Hamilton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199686179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199686179.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 September 2021

Revolution and Restoration: Romantic Political Transformations

Revolution and Restoration: Romantic Political Transformations

(p.22) (p.23) 1 Revolution and Restoration: Romantic Political Transformations

Paul Hamilton

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the degree to which a counter-image of Europe imagined by Romantic period writers showed them to be transforming an inherited idea of the republic of letters for political purposes. While Anglophone romanticists recognize that the French Revolution is an indisputable agent in shaping the contemporary English literary imagination, they usually ignore the role played by the Restoration which followed. Romantic criticism can perhaps learn an appropriate sensitivity here from the work of critics of English Restoration writing of the seventeenth century. A similar pattern of pursuing revolution by other means is visible in the political revisionism and literary experimentation of post-Revolutionary European Romantics. The Romantic transformation of the republic of letters recovers an older literary republicanism, and this Romantic Realpoetik takes shape as the battle for what is to be political reality is fought on a rhetorical field whose free speech is exemplary of what politics should be like.

Keywords:   republicanism, letters, Revolution, Restoration, transformation

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