On Mondays I always have a lecture on Cultural studies as a part of my university course. This week the one was on Romanticism. It was actually sort of interesting, although tediously long and I always feel like there's so much information being thrown at me at one time. My notes are usual non-sentical and useless, but I do pick out certain things Steve (our lecturer) that actually interest me.
Here are some quick explanations behind the notes:
Laudanum. Its a mixture of opium, morphine and alcohol that was flavored with cinnamon or saffron, It was widely used during the 19th Century as a pain relief drug, and was highly addictive. Users of the drug included Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Siddal, Lord Byron, Lewis Carroll and Edgar Allen Poe.
"The Sublime" was a idea that something was so totally awe inspiring, unreal and of such high moral value that it was perfect. Something that was so incomprehendable that provided intense pleasure to the viewer. Its hard to explain really, if your interested in the concept google it as its actually really interesting.
Frankenstein is a key romanticism text, which is something I was actually shocked at when I was told. But as I thought about it more everything from Frankenstein is reflective of the Romantic era. Considering that the story is about a monster that terrifies people and has those emotional undertones, it's a sort of self-evident example of romanticism.
I think I'm a true Romantic at heart, I love idealistic views of life and art. Theres just something about the idea of a opium riddled, 19th century poet suffering for their art I find enchanting and exciting. Did anyone watch that Desperate Romantics program that was on the BBC late last year? I was totally obsessed with it!
ps. I have no idea why I have started writing in these scratch capital letters, Ive been working on designing a Where The Wild Things Are website. I blame that!