ENGL 527 -- Winter Quarter 2006

Romantic Hellenism (w/CLit 548) Halmi MW 1:30-3:20

Romantic Hellenism is easy to document but difficult to conceptualize. We shall examine Romantic poetry, prose, painting, and architecture in conjunction with current theoretical and historical studies, seeking to understand the intense appeal of classical antiquity (or more precisely, the idea of classical antiquity) in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. As Marx observed in the introduction to the Grundrisse (1857), The difficulty is not in grasping the idea that Greek art and poetry are bound up with certain forms of social development, but rather in understanding why they still constitute for us a source of aesthetic enjoyment and in certain respects prevail as the standard and model beyond attainment. Depending on the interests of the students, the particular topics of consideration might include the erotic and political appeal of classical antiquity; the relations between Hellenism, Orientalism, and the Gothic; the commodification of antiquity; and the relation of classical scholarship to literary uses of classical mythology. Some prior study of Romantic literature would be useful, but won't be essential. Further information will be available on the web: faculty.washington.edu/nh2/classes.htm

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