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European romanticism in the nineteenth century is described as the worship of the self, the relationship between the individual and nature, or the relationship between an individual and the world. Aesthetics, in a general sense, refers to art and to beauty. Therefore, it could be said that nineteenth century romantic aesthetics refers to the art that represents the relationship between self and nature. This includes, but is not limited to, lyric poetry, memoirs, confessions, diaries, letters, epistolary novels, and psychological novels. Lyric poetry was one of the most common tools of romantic expression. It was considered an expression of the poet’s soul, and demonstrated a belief in transcendental spirit as the source of poetic inspiration. There was also a renewal of poetic vocabulary at this time, allowing the poet to be more flexible in his writing and express more feelings in depth. It is said “Ren? had always claimed that he would not tell his story because it was too insignificant, limited as it was to his thoughts and feelings. ‘As for the circumstance which induced me to leave for America, that must forever be buried in oblivion’” (Chateaubriand 85). This represents his position on romanticism, meaning worship of the self. He believes his story to be too insignificant to tell, therefore also meaning that his feelings and his emotions are too insignificant to be a source of reason. He seems ashamed that his own emotions could be a legitimate reason for his relocation to Louisiana. This shows that romanticism, being the worship of the self, can also be the cause of self-pity, in believing that his problems should stem from larger entities than simply his own emotions Chateaubriand’s Ren? is considered an emblematic romantic novella as it was an inspiration to romantics at the time of its publication, and continues to be today. The novella expresses romanticism and feelings that many people of the time felt as well. This made Ren? a very relatable novella and caused its long lasting impression on the development of romanticism. Religion also serves as a place of solitude and knowledge in the novella. Chateaubriand’s Ren? serves as an inspiration to romantics and an emblematic romantic novella leaving lasting impressions.
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