Looking at a broad spectrum of writers--English, French, German,
Italian, Russian and other East Europeans--Virgil Nemoianu offers
here a coherent characterization of the period 1815-1848. This he
calls the era of the domestication of romanticism.
The explosive, visionary core of romanticism is seen to give
way--after the defeat of Napoleon--to an expanded and softer
version reflecting middle-class values. This later form of
romanticism is characterized by moralizing efforts to reform
society, a sentimental yearning for the tranquility of home and
hearth, and persistent faith in the individual, alongside a new
skepticism, shattered ideals, and consequent irony. Expanding the
application of the term "Biedermeier," which has been useful in
describing this period in German literature, Nemoianu provides a
new framework for understanding these years in a wider European
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