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Bodies in Late Romanticism: Two Perspectives

   | 12 giu 2020
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De Corpore – ‘On the Body’ through the History of Idea, Views of the Body in Philosophy, Literature and Religion. Editor: Ramona Simuț


One of the major themes of discussion in the art and especially the literature of the 18th and 19th centuries was the body rather than the soul. In the beginning this seemed to be the case mostly because of the natural processes related to the transforming events of maturation and death of the human body and mind. However, towards the end of the 18th century and well into the 19th century, a certain shift took place from the common perspective on the body to a rather scientific literary approach. Our attempt is to notice and make the necessary connections between the concepts of nature (both human and external/physical nature) and the innovative technologies implemented in the then society, with a later reference to the new accidental and commercial facets of death felt as destruction of nature especially in the work of the American Romantic writers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Being aware that they are highly spoken of in view of their transcendentalism as a particular philosophy dealing with the bond between man and nature, we will slowly come to terms with this type of concerns and connect them to the conflicting reality of industrialization as a sudden and repressive phenomenon within the society of men. Finally our point is that this very phenomenon caused the two writers to make a historical detour and use their formation as naturalist thinkers in order to make sense of their century’s deaths and diseases. This is to say that even from a Romantic perspective, the concern for the body is surprisingly concrete, while these writers’ transcendentalist concerns for the soul are prolix though without substance.

Frequenza di pubblicazione:
3 volte all'anno
Argomenti della rivista:
Theology and Religion, General Topics and Biblical Reception