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Originally published in 1936, this book provides a critical examination of the potential for excess in Romantic thought, a form of excess which denies the reality principle in favour of the unbridled exploration of the imagination. Written under the shadow of the coming war, it also reflects an understanding of Romantic ideology's capacity to create acts of violence and transgression in the name of purity. Yet this is by no means an all-out rejection of Romanticism, and it can be seen more accurately as a warning against immoderation in any form of thought. The text is consummately researched and written with a great deal of expertise, containing numerous quotations from a variety of sources. A fascinating volume, it will be of value to anyone with an interest in literary criticism and the development of Romantic thought.
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