Anti-Romanticism is the antithesis of Romanticism. Though some traits of Anti-Romanticism are in common with Classicism; Anti-Romantic poems tend to roughly hinge around the following concepts:
- Ironic, indirect, and impersonal (objective) representation of ideas.
- Uncompromising criticism of romantic illusions.
- The opposition to unreal ideas and artificiality of treatment.
- Satirisation of irrational and whimsical attitudes of the so-called aristocracy.
- Criticism of established conventions of sentimental love, marriage, sex, religion, and rituals.
- Criticism of social, political, cultural, and moral customs and manners of contemporary society.
- Advocacy of pragmatism and disapproval of idealism.
- Valuing reason over emotion and imagination.
Since "classicism" is the conventional term used to counter "romanticism," it may be necessary to clarify the link between the two terms. A worldview founded on classical ideas is typically thought to be contrary to romantic notions but Anti-romanticism was created as a response to Romanticism.
Early in "Tradition and the Individual Talent," Eliot makes it apparent that his concern for tradition is anti-Romantic. He suggests that both critics and poets become aware of how each new work relates to the canon of literature. The result of Eliot's idea is a reduction in the significance placed on poetry's distinctive, ephemeral, and "Original" features by the Romantics.
Auden Under Eliot's Spell
- The problem of Tradition: the poet and his relation to the body of existing poetry.
- The problem of Personality: the relation of the poet as a man to his poem as an aesthetic creation.
- The problem of Communication: the relation of the poem to the audience.
Auden as Anti-Romantic
" Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality".
Realism over Romanticism
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