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Annual Battle of Classicists Versus Romantics

During my annual visit to Mayberry-for-Hippies, AZ, I fall back into the polemics of a classical approach to life, rather than the romantic approach. Oddly enough, it is the scenery that crystallizes the issue for me.

This is ranch country, as well as mountains and forests. Therefore it is useful for grazing cattle. That leads to food, a practical and unromantic thing. The land isn't just here to gush over as scenery, although in fact, I love it as scenery.

It has never interested me much to try to 'solve' the conundrum of classical versus romantic. A reductionist approach to life seems unappealing.  To hell with looking for magic recipes that explain everything. 

All that interests me is to watch this dualism operate on different things, and to see how the balance changes over the years. Indeed, I do become more classical every year, but that doesn't mean that the classical approach to life is some sort of philosophical monad. 

A scissors with two countervailing and reciprocating blades cuts paper better than a knife.

In the mean time, chalk one up for the importance of visual representations of abstractions that would otherwise seem like uninteresting homework.  In fact a local artist has painted some spots around here where I may have paused the mountain bike, just to admire. 


XXXXX said…
Having some trouble understanding how you are seeing this dichotomy. But this sentence pops out for me:
That leads to food, a practical and unromantic thing.

Food is unromantic? Golly. I think of candlelight dinners, bringing candy or some other delicacy to a loved one. All of which stands for nurturing the body, giving it what it needs, and consequently, caring about the recipient's welfare. Very romantic indeed.

I don't understand what you're referring to when you dichotomize "classicism" with "romanticism" or is it "romantic" in gushy, all over the place, over-the-top emotions?

The Romanticism movement of the 18th century, it is true, marks the birth of a recognition of individual rights. Just not getting this. One can go back into classic times and find poetry, etc. of a romantic (highly emotional) character as well.

I am using the word 'romantic' in the philosophical sense, not the Valentine's Day sense.

Think of the first 2/3 of the 1700's as 'classical', and Rousseau, Goethe, Liszt, etc. as 'romantics' of the 1800's.

When traveling, one leans in the classical direction when he likes balanced pastoral scenery. He is thinking like a romanticist when he insists that everything be like Niagara Falls, or a 1000 foot high vertical cliff, or a storm at sea, etc.