Chapter

Rome and Its Romantic Significance

Jerome J. McGann

in The Beauty of Inflections

Published in print August 1988 | ISBN: 9780198117506
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191670961 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198117506.003.0012

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Rome and Its Romantic Significance

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The picture of a Rome dominated by ruins and monuments but deserted of people is typically Romantic, and is often delivered to the reader or viewer under that most explicit of Romantic signs, the moonlight. The greatest English text offering such a scene is Childe Harold Canto IV. This Byron text is as central as it is, in the iconography of Romanticism, because its emblems belong to more than one form of Romantic consciousness. Before one can understand the peculiar arrangements that Byron's poetry makes with Rome, however, this chapter retreats to a period before Chateaubriand wrote his prose poem — specifically, to a moment between the time when Winckelmann came to Rome and the outbreak of the French Revolution.

Keywords: Romantic Rome; Renaissance; French Revolution; Byron; Chateaubriand

Chapter.  8092 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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