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Romanticism in the 21st Century

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Ruth Tamas

on 6 June 2014

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Transcript of Romanticism in the 21st Century

Romanticism in the 21st Century
Ruth Tamas
What is romanticism?
Romanticism is the idea of individualism and the sentimental love of nature. It is the belief that feeling an emotion is more important than logic or experience, it is nostalgic and believes in a utopian society. It is the quest for something greater and the idea that one's inmost soul or self is touched by or reaches out to majestic nature or the stars.
Where do we see romanticism?
In our...
http://oddstuffmagazine.com/the-50-best-street-art-work-selected-in-2011.html http://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2013/hot-100-songs?page=2
"StreetArtNews" presents the following paintings as "The Most Popular Street Art Pieces of 2013"
This street art reflects the romantic idea of the importance of nature and contradictory elements/gestures. Like many romantic works of art, this piece contrasts the industrial characters (cement wall, graffiti) with natural characters (flowering vine.) It emphasizes the importance of returning to nature, or rather, states that no matter how far we as a race move away from it, nature will always remain inside of us. Similarly, this piece demonstrates the use of contradictory elements. The blooming flowers juxtapose the linear walls and the stereotypically tough man succumbs to a place of vulnerability when he releases his "inner beauty."
This piece reiterates the importance of the prosperity of nature, even within an industrial environment. It is clear that the idea of the importance of nature from the romantic period has transcended into the 21st century. It also holds contradictory elements in the sizing of the tree vs. the young girl. This piece also shows individualism in its environment. The girl is investing in nature, in a city where most have invested in infrastructure. This makes the girl individual. These are all staples of the romantic period.
This piece of art projects the feeling of "longing for a simpler time." This state of mind began being displayed in art in the romantic period, post-industrial era. This piece demonstrates its continuation through the 21st century. It also reveals the idea of feeling/emotion being more important than the actual experience, depicted by the children and their painted horses. The children valuing the painted horses and play (feeling/emotion) over logic or experience (not real horses, not real play.)
The following photos are part of the gallery presented by "Odd Stuff Magazine" titled as: "The best 50 Street art Work Selected 2011"
The image presented in this piece holds contradictory elements and meanings. The contradictory elements are seen in the relationship between the runner/revolutionary and the finish line/police tape. There are two separate meanings. The runner's inspiring finish; the police tape's aggressive warning. Duality in a single picture comes from the romantic period and it is evident that it has continued to influence artist's work. This picture also portrays a degree of individualism. Being the first runner/revolutionary to cross the tape divides from the general population.
This piece of art demonstrates the idea taken from the romantic period that feeling the emotion is more important than logic or experience. The bike portrayed shows the prioritization of beauty and care put into the spectacle of the bike, which can be translated into "the feeling," over the purpose or practical aspect that this bike serves, which can also be translated into "logic or experience." These morals are carried from the romantic period.
Current day music borrows several characters from the romantic era. The following songs are listed by "billboard.com" as part of the "2013 Hot 100 Songs" chart.
Bruno Mars: Treasure
Lyric sample:
"Treasure, that is what you are
Honey, you're my golden star"
Romanticism is often affiliated with one's inmost soul or self being touched by or reaching out to stars. Bruno Mars borrows the romantic comparison of his desired other with a star in his song, thus exposing the influence of the romantic era in his music.
Pink: Just Give Me a Reason
Lyric Sample:
Oh, tear ducts and rust
I'll fix it for us
We're collecting dust
But our love's enough
You're holding it in
You're pouring a drink
No nothing is as bad as it seems
We'll come clean
Pink shares the romantic idea of feelings or emotions being more important than logic or experience (anything you want you can have if you only want it enough.) In her song she talks about how her goal would be reached if she puts everything she's got into the journey. This is and idea taken directly from the romantic era.
Lorde: Royals
Lyric Sample:
But every song's like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin' in the bathroom
Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room,
We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams.
But everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece.
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash.
We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair.
Lorde creates a utopian world within her song, where many unfortunate things are occurring but she can still "drive Cadillacs" in her dreams (be at peace.) The utopian ideology is derived from the romantic period.
Avicii: Wake Me Up
Lyric Sample:
They tell me I'm too young to understand
They say I'm caught up in a dream
Well life will pass me by if I don't open up my eyes
Well that's fine by me
Avicii establishes individualism in his song by expressing his desire to escape the social norms of society. The idea of individualism is rooted in romanticism, Avicii demonstrates current society's influence from romanticism when he expresses this emotion.
Lana Del Rey: Summertime Sadness
Lyric Sample:
I got my red dress on tonight
Dancing in the dark in the pale moonlight
Done my hair up real big beauty queen style
High heels off, I'm feeling alive
Lana Del Rey expresses escapism when she sings about dressing up in order to escape her current situation. Her red dress, dancing and fancy hair all point to one reality, but her lack of high heels symbolizes her freedom or escape from her own character. Escapism is a trait of the romantic period that is often felt and expressed in the 21st century.
The following pieces of literature are listed on "poemhunter.com" as "new poetry"
Lily Emery: The River Bay
"Skipping rocks across the river bay
With nothing much to say
Rippling liquid flesh
reflecting freedom in a breath of fresh air
The suns horizon awaking
Orange and pink skies
gliding inside me
seeing morning dawning
It's the way you draw the sun
To sunless places
A soft breeze you sing to me
The way your voice talks to this heart of mine
You get me throwing rock
on the river bay ..."
Lily Emery expresses romantic values in her poem. Her sentimental love of nature and use of nature in conveying her love to her significant other holds strong romantic influence.
Natasha Foster: The Lady of the Lake
'Twas at the lake where she was born,
'Twas at the lake where they did meet.
'Twas at the lake where she did mourn,
'Twas at the lake her heart did beat.
Natasha Foster expresses multiple, situations of nostalgia in her poetry. Firstly, her use of "'twas" is nostalgic in a literary sense because it's a linguistic anachronism. Secondly, her writing is nostalgic because it talks about the past with a longing affect. Thirdly, Foster's poetry is nostalgic because it is reminiscent of Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem: The Lady of Shalott. Nostalgia is characteristic of the romantic era. It is apparent in Natasha Foster's writing which suggests that modern-day literature is still being influenced by the romantic aesthetic.
Shuvo Chakraborty: Yonder Slumbering
Tell me not to rise again,
Yonder slumbering magic hands of futility
Has lull me to rest in suave peaces grave
And invited drowsiness enough to blink
Thanks enough thou merchant of senselessness
Trades countless pains in forlorn heart
Till mines self turns to stone
To grow enough that spoils any second coming.
Shuvo Chakraborty writes about escapism. The poem features feelings of longing for escape from reality through a utopian "sleep." Escapism began developing in literature in the romantic period and has transcended into the 21st century.
Nina Alvarez: The Unicorn
The following pieces of literature were collected from "Poem of the Day," this collection is listed as the "Top 10 Poems of 2013"
The gentle giraffe ran away to relate
The news to his tawny and elegant mate,
While the snake slid aside with a venomous hiss,
And the little birds piped: ‘There is something amiss!’

But the Unicorn strode with his head in a cloud
And uttered his innocent fancies aloud.
‘What a wonderful world!’ he was heard to exclaim;
‘It is better than books: it is sweeter than fame!’

The unicorn in Alvarez' poem expresses individuality through its lack of conformity with its peers. Individualism is defined as the pursuit of personal happiness and independence rather than collective goals or interests. Individualism began to emerge as an archetype in the romantic era. Alvarez proves through her work that it is still applicable to the 21st century.

"the illusory demons
and the illusory shining gods"
Nina Alvarez: What You Should Know to be a Poet
Alvarez questions the existence of god in her poetry- a style of writing born in the romantic period. Society today continues to question the existence of god, exposing the romantic periods influence on current culture and emphasizing the fact that writers still borrow many archetypes of the past.
To conclude, romanticism still holds a vast amount of influence in our current creative culture. From art, to music, to literature, the romantic era's archetypes are ubiquitous. Many characteristics including individualism, escapism, the majestic relationship between man and stars, the quest for something greater, the sentimental love of nature, nostalgia, utopian thought and contradictory elements are commonly used in the 21st century, showing the deep connection between the two eras.
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