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Gothic Romance

A Fallen Idol Is Still a God: Lermontov and the Quandaries by Elizabeth Allen

By Elizabeth Allen

A Fallen Idol continues to be a God elucidates the historic strong point and importance of the seminal nineteenth-century Russian poet, playwright, and novelist Mikhail Iurevich Lermontov (1814-1841). It does so by means of demonstrating that Lermontov’s works illustrate the of dwelling in an epoch of transition. Lermontov’s specific epoch was once that of post-Romanticism, a time whilst the twilight of Romanticism used to be dimming however the sunrise of Realism had but to seem. via shut and comparative readings, the publication explores the singular metaphysical, mental, moral, and aesthetic ambiguities and ambivalences that mark Lermontov’s works, and tellingly replicate the transition out of Romanticism and the character of post-Romanticism. total, the ebook unearths that, even though constrained to his transitional epoch, Lermontov didn't succumb to it; as a substitute, he probed its personality and evoked its old import. And the ebook concludes that Lermontov’s works have resonance for our transitional period within the early twenty-first century in addition.

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16 Romantic morality is simply not what many people think morality should be. For Romanticists repeatedly challenged, and in many instances inverted, the traditional hierarchy of values that placed self-restraint near the top and unconstrained self-indulgence near the bottom—Christian’s indifference to his family’s plight exemplifies this inversion. To many Romanticists, this hierarchy deserved to be upended, so that the liberated and completed self would be recognized as the source of good, despite its dangers, and the constrained and incomplete self would be seen as the source of evil, despite its advantages.

It is beauty and ugliness. It is art for art’s sake, and art as an instrument of social salvation. 3 Again, this embrace of variousness and contradiction does not mean that Romanticism is everything and therefore nothing. 4 Let me begin my exploration of the various and contradictory Romantic spirit by recapitulating an emblematic but little-known story by the German author Ludwig Tieck entitled “The Runenberg” [“Der Runenberg”] (1802). It relates the tale of a young hunter, Christian, who abandons his family, friends, and familiar way of life on a pleasant plain and heads off into the mountains to pursue his dreams of discovering an unknown, exotic world amid nature’s sublimity.

Now he is stopped in his tracks; from now on nothing remains behind or ahead of him to fix his gaze upon. (256) In this anomic state of mind, equally alienated from the past, the present, and the future, Durkheim concludes, an individual may be primed to commit suicide. Like Durkheim’s social anomie, cultural anomie inspires a sense of alienation and rootlessness in individuals through the loss of some moral authority. I would distinguish cultural anomie from social anomie, however,  chapter one in several ways.

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