Romantic Poets, Critics, and Other Madmen

Overview

Few can match Charles Rosen's cultivation and discernment, whether as pianist, music historian, or critic. Here he gives us a performance of literary criticism as high art, a critical conjuring of the Romantic period by way of some of its central texts.

"What is the real business of the critic?" Rosen asks of George Bernard Shaw in one of his essays. It is a question he answers throughout this collection as he demonstrates and analyzes various critical approaches. In writing about the Romantic poets Lord Byron, ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (19) from $3.98   
  • New (5) from $34.14   
  • Used (14) from $3.98   
Sending request ...

Overview

Few can match Charles Rosen's cultivation and discernment, whether as pianist, music historian, or critic. Here he gives us a performance of literary criticism as high art, a critical conjuring of the Romantic period by way of some of its central texts.

"What is the real business of the critic?" Rosen asks of George Bernard Shaw in one of his essays. It is a question he answers throughout this collection as he demonstrates and analyzes various critical approaches. In writing about the Romantic poets Lord Byron, William Wordsworth, William Cowper, and Friedrich Hölderlin, he examines the kind of criticism which attempts to uncover concealed code. He investigates the relationship between Romantic aesthetic theory and artworks, and explores the way Romantic art criticism has been practiced by critics from Friedrich Schlegel to Walter Benjamin. In essays on Honoré de Balzac, Robert Schumann, Gustave Flaubert, and others, he highlights the intersections between Romantic art and music; the artist's separation of life and artistic representations of it; and the significance of the established text.

With an apt comparison or a startling juxtaposition, Rosen opens whole worlds of insight, as in his linking of Caspar David Friedrich's landscape painting and Schumann's music, or in his review of the theory and musicology of Heinrich Schenker alongside the work of Roman Jakobson.

Throughout this volume we hear the voice of a shrewd aesthetic interpreter, performing the critic's task even as he redefines it in his sparkling fashion.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

P.N. Furbank
[An] engaging new book, Romantic Poets, Critics and Other Madmen is a collection of long review-essays reprinted from New York Review of Books and other journals... Rosen is an exact and delicate critic, but never pedantic... [His essays are] pondered, subtle, and humane, and - often - triumphantly right.
Times Literary Supplement
Kirkus Reviews
A quarter-century's worth of trenchant thinking on Romantic culture from celebrated pianist/musicologist/critic Rosen (author of The Romantic Generation, 1995, and the National Book Awardþwinning The Classical Style). First published, for the most part, in the New York Review of Books, these pieces test contemporary scholarship's vision of great Romantic artists from a variety of nations and fields. Rosen's first essay considers how best to republish Romantic-era literature by carefully contrasting the quirks exhibited by recent editions of Wordsworth, Byron, and Balzac. Rosen also spotlights other Romantic media. Comparing the painter Caspar David Friedrich and the composer Robert Schumann, he explores the Romantic destruction of "not only the barriers between the arts, but the autonomy of art" from nature. In one piece, Rosen even postulates (somewhat wildly, to be sure) that Elizabeth David's cookbooks, with their evocation of pastoral sentiments, represent "the last gasp of the Romantic momement." Elsewhere, the critics join the cook as latter-day Romantics as Rosen thinks throughþand pastþliterary scholars like M.H. Abrams and William Empson, the musicologist Heinrich Schenker, and George Bernard Shaw considered as music journalist. Those who find Rosen's favor tend to be those who, like Empson, Shaw, and the German theorist Walter Benjamin, keep the flame of Romantic practice alive. (Rosen's superb essay on the difficult but rewarding Benjamin remains quite sharp 20 years after its original publication.) But the unity which the common theme of Romanticism provides for Rosen's collection makes one feel the absence of an introduction, or a new essay, that mightbring to a point the arguments that run throughout, while considering Romanticism's relation to the classical and the modern. Rosen certainly earns the authority to give such an overview. Especially remarkable, perhaps, is the tone of intellectual generosity that infuses Rosen's essaysþas much as his Romantic avatars, he has a sure touch in uniting thought and expression to expand the worlds of his audience's experience.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674779518
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Rosen is a pianist and Professor Emeritus of Music and Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction
The Definitive Text: Honore de Balzac, George Gordon Byron, William Wordsworth 3
The Intense Inane: Religious Revival in English, French, and German Romanticism: M. K. Abrams, William Empson 31
Separating Life and Art: Romantic Documents, Romantic Punctuation: Gustave Flaubert, George Gordon Byron 51
The Cookbook as Romantic Pastoral: Elizabeth David 76
Secret Codes: Caspar David Friedrich, Robert Schumann 83
Mad Poets: William Cowper, Christopher Smart, Friedrich Holderlin 105
The Ruins of Walter Benjamin: German and English Baroque Drama, Romantic Aesthetics, and Symbolist Theory of Language 131
Concealed Structures: Heinrich Schenker, Ferdinand de Saussure, Roman Jakobson 182
Ambiguous Intentions: William Empson 212
The Journalist Critic as Hero: George Bernard Shaw 233
Acknowledgments 251
Index 253
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)