Romantic Moods: Paranoia, Trauma, and Melancholy, 1790-1840

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This large and ambitious study reinterprets the evolution of British and German Romanticism as a progress through three successive 'moods.' By this term Pfau here means emotion "read in its embodied manifestation as the 'voice' of a historical moment, rather than that of a given individual." In constructing this reading, he draws on a multifaceted philosophical tradition influenced most strongly by Heidegger and Kant, but also by such wide-ranging figures as Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and Adorno, among others. The result is a new understanding of the basis of the Romantic poet's voice (picking up on the German etymological link between Stimmung, 'mood,' and Stimme, 'voice') as a holistic cultural condition not localizable as either content or form, textual or psychic. This is a work for scholars and advanced students, one that is likely to stimulate considerable reaction and make a significant and enduring contribution to Romantic studies.

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Johns Hopkins University Press
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