Meet the Romantics, Part IV: The Authors

February 15, 2012

Giselle, Now Playing

The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (Caspar David Friedrich, 1818)

Welcome to Part IV of our “Meet the Romantics” series to help you enter into the world of Giselle. In this series of posts you’ll get a taste of what the world of European arts and culture was doing at the time, and how this masterwork ballet fits into the defining movements of its time.  

Read “Part I: Capital-R Romantic” here.

Read “Part II: The Composers” here.

Read “Part III: The Painters” here.

Five Key Characteristics of Romantic Literature

  • The emergence of the subgenre we would call “Gothic,” emphasizing the creepy, horrifying, spooky and suspenseful;
  • What is widely acknowledged as the “Golden Age” of British poetry, with Keats, Shelley, Byron, Wordsworth, Browning, Tennyson and scores of others reaching the peak of their fame;
  • A rediscovery of classical poetic forms like odes and sonnets;
  • A passion for exalting the grandeur and beauties of nature, and the spirit of rustic country living;
  • A glorification of intense emotion and individuality over classical form.

Ten Artists To Know

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1743-1832, German): “When I leave here, let come what must./What do I care about it now, if hereafter/Men hate or love, or if in those other spheres/There be an Above or a Below?”  Read Faust

John Keats (1795-1821, British): “Beauty is truth, truth beauty; that is all/Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know . . .” Read “Ode On a Grecian Urn”

Mary Shelley (1797-1851, British): “Oh! No mortal could support the horror of that countenance. A mummy again endued with animation could not be so hideous as that wretch. I had gazed on him while unfinished; he was ugly then, but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived . . .  “ Read Frankenstein

Victor Hugo (1802-1885, French): “She gave anyone who saw her a sensation of April and of dawn. There was dew in her eyes. Cosette was a condensation of auroral light in womanly form . . .Read Les Misérables

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American): “If a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches . . .” Read “Nature”

Hans Christian Anderson (1805-1875, Danish): “Many nights she stood by the open window, looking up through the dark blue water, and . . . could see the moon and stars shining faintly. When something like a black cloud passed between her and them, she knew that it was a ship full of human beings, who never imagined that a pretty little mermaid was standing beneath them, holding out her white hands towards the keel of their ship. . .” Read “The Little Mermaid”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882, American): “This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,/Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,/Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic . . .” Read “Evangeline”

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849, American): “During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher . . .” Read “The Fall of the House of Usher”

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892, British): “I hold it true, whate’er befall;/ I feel it when I sorrow most; ‘Tis better to have loved and lost/Than never to have loved at all . . .” Read “In Memoriam”

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855, British): “May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine. May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agonized as in that hour left my lips; for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love . . .” Read Jane Eyre

The Chancel and Crossing of Tintern Abbey, Looking Towards the East Window (JMW Turner, 1794)

 

Thanks for joining us for the “Meet the Romantics” series!

Want to keep the Romance alive?  We’ve got a special deal for you!  Join us Friday March 2nd for Giselle and get 1/2 off your tickets!  Click here and use offer code ADOLPHE to get your discount!  (Areas 1-4.  Limit 4.  Offer expires February 22nd.)

Don’t forget to join us before the show for our special Classical Cocktail Hour, a pre-show conversation in the lobby bar about composer Adolphe Adam, featuring All Classical FM host Edmund Stone and OBT Artistic Director Christopher Stowell!

About these ads

About Claire

Writer Claire Willett is the Grants & Content Manager for Oregon Ballet Theatre. She is the 2011 Oregon Literary Fellow for Drama and was the Summer 2011 Writer-in-Residence at the I-Park Artists Colony in East Haddam, CT. Three of her plays have been produced as staged readings in Portland’s annual Fertile Ground Festival of New Works. Her fourth, entitled "Dear Galileo," will be produced as a staged reading in January 2012 by Artists Repertory Theatre, funded by a Career Opportunity Grant from the Oregon Arts Commission. Her next project is a chamber opera based on Norse mythology co-written with Los Angeles composer Evan Lewis. Claire has a B.A. in Theatre from Whitman College in Washington and attended the Paul A. Kaplan Theatre Management Program at Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City. She is obsessed with coffee, Watergate, vintage dishes, English mystery novels, Leonard Cohen, "Star Wars," afternoon naps, obscure Catholic saint lore, dinosaurs and Christmas.

View all posts by Claire

Subscribe

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 41 other followers

%d bloggers like this: