Skip to main content

I'm French. Why do you think I have this outrageous accent, you silly king?

I'm going to talk about something I don't have a lot of background in (oh aren't you just SO excited already?). And that subject is the cool thing that happened in France in the mid-19th century.

Okay, so let's talk Romanticism. We have the Enlightenment, where everyone gets VERY jazzed about Reason and Science and the Progress of Man, and we have hilarious authors like Swift, Fielding and Pope. Then those people have kids and the kids say "Fuck this science shit!" And then they go off and contemplate the beauty of a daffodil.

And this hit Germany first. Why, I don't know. Again, this is all cursory knowledge that I've decided to take and write assertively about. As is usually the case here. SO, from Germany it travels to England, and creates a bunch of emo poets. And as time creeps on, the Romantics have kids and THOSE kids say "Fuck daffodils!" and they decide to be REALISTS.

What's oh-so-interesting about France in the mid-19th century is that Romanticism and Realism hit France AT THE SAME TIME. Meaning there are Important Authors in France concurrently writing in the two styles. The primary two authors? Balzac and Hugo. Balzac lived 1799-1850 and Hugo lived 1802-1885. And it's awesome, because they're obviously influenced by similar things in terms of culture and political climate, but they take it in opposite directions.

More specifically, Balzac is like "Once upon a time -- right now -- there was a house, and here is a painstaking description of the house, and here is a gentleman of our time living in the house, and oh my, he's living in embarrassed circumstances; look at how FAMILIAR all this is!" And Hugo is more "Once upon a time -- LONG LONG AGO -- there was a deformed person and OH his emotions and OH society and OH I'm going to talk about the French Revolution for 50 pages now."

Hugo distanced his subjects and used enormous characters (not...not physically enormous. necessarily.), and Balzac made everything ridiculously current. And it was happening at the same time! Different movements! And they were both immensely popular! Fantastic. Good one, France.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop ( Odyssey Books , where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have. I feel like we could get to this point, Emily INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'. You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters. If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing: We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilar

Book Blogger Hop, Pt II

All right. The question for this week is:  "Do you read only one book at a time, or do you have several going at once?" Oh-ho my. I have an issue with book commitment. I start a new book, and it's exciting and fresh, and I get really jazzed about it, and then 20% of the way through, almost without fail, I start getting bored and want to start another book. I once had seven books going at the same time, because I kept getting bored and starting new ones. It's a sickness. Right now I'm being pretty good and working on The Monk , Northanger Abbey , Kissing the Witch , and I'm about to start Waiting for the Barbarians since my friend lent it to me. But The Monk and NA are basically books I only read when I'm at work, so I don't see it so much as working on four books, as having books in different locales. Yes. This entry wasn't as good as some of the others, but I shall rally on the morrow. Yes I shall.