Romanticism Against the Tide of Modernity

Front Cover
Duke University Press, 2001 - History - 317 pages
Romanticism is a worldview that finds expression over a whole range of cultural fields—not only in literature and art but in philosophy, theology, political theory, and social movements. In Romanticism Against the Tide of Modernity Michael Lwy and Robert Sayre formulate a theory that defines romanticism as a cultural protest against modern bourgeois industrial civilization and work to reveal the unity that underlies the extraordinary diversity of romanticism from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century.
After critiquing previous conceptions of romanticism and discussing its first European manifestations, Lwy and Sayre propose a typology of the sociopolitical positions held by romantic writers-from “restitutionist” to various revolutionary/utopian forms. In subsequent chapters, they give extended treatment to writers as diverse as Coleridge and Ruskin, Charles Peguy, Ernst Bloch and Christa Wolf. Among other topics, they discuss the complex relationship between Marxism and romanticism before closing with a reflection on more contemporary manifestations of romanticism (for example, surrealism, the events of May 1968, and the ecological movement) as well as its future.
Students and scholars of literature, humanities, social sciences, and cultural studies will be interested in this elegant and thoroughly original book.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Redefining Romanticism
Romanticism Political and Social Diversity
Excursus Marxism and Romanticism
Visages of Romanticism in the Nineteenth Century
Visages of Romanticism in the Twentieth Century
The Fire Is Still Burning From Surrealism to the Present Day and Beyond

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

Michael Lwy is Research Director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Lecturer at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales.

Robert Sayre is Professor of Anglophone Literatures at the University of Marne-la-Valle.

Bibliographic information