When Someone Asks If You’re a God, You Say Yes! My Reaction to the 1921 Play ‘Six Characters in Search of An Author’

I just listened to this dramatic reading from a cast of Librivox volunteers of the play ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’ by Luigi Pirandello. Written and first performed in 1921. I want to get down some initial thoughts and reactions.

Six ‘characters’ show up at a playhouse while a troupe is rehearsing and attempt to relate that they are characters, in the flesh, sprung from a creative mind but abandoned before their play was finished. Thus they are seeking a stage, an author, led by a father figure whose version of their existence and the situation inherent in their being which is to be staged, is presented most authorially. The father comes leading a pack of characters, which is a mixed up family. Though their writer is absent, he is the most ‘authorial’. Thusly many of the literary terms are complicated by their meanings in other realms, throughout the play. It is a somber, complex tale they tell, a situation about an estranged father reunited with his ex- and his daughter in the most discomfiting of circumstances, when the father visits a brothel and makes an appointment with a young madame, who turns out to be the daughter.

What version will be told, is best to get at the ‘truth’, or even will be permitted by social mores to be staged? Where the mother arrives to discover them just in time?

THE FATHER. She, the Mother arrived just then . . . 

THE STEP-DAUGHTER (treacherously). Almost in time!

THE FATHER (crying out)No, in time! in time! Fortunately I recognized her. . . in time.

For you see, whose story?-, whose feelings?- are most important? Authorial? Authorized? Or, if acknowledged that each character, however minor, has their own internal pains and stories, what version is best to get at the truth of the story?

To gloss over, or to generalize, or to not give light to secret pains, what is THE TRUTH?

THE STEP-DAUGHTER. But it’s the truth! 

THE MANAGER. What does that matter? Acting is our business here. Truth up to a certain point, but no further.

But if this is the pivot on which the play turns, a character’s envelopment in the whole curtain thread…

Then the stage lights are hot with a desire to shine and reflect on how the existence of characters says something about ourselves, in our ‘real’ world, and how truth, once told- repeatable as stone-clad in artistic text, eternal, says something about ourselves who are fleeting, changing, and never so chiseled out as ‘characters’. It is an existentialist point, that our essence is in this light of shining and reflecting and never as much as we’d like in being wholly a solid thing.

Actors mock those who living the thing as they enact it so the troupe may see their drama and later represent it, mock the real life versions. The daughter, dressed in mourning for her adopted father, protests when the actress steps in to her tragic scene. She herself is eternally in black dress, her adopted father just recently dead. The actress steps in.

THE STEP-DAUGHTER. But she isn’t dressed in black. 

LEADING LADY. But I shall be, and much more effectively than you.

The son refuses to speak, after the daughter and mother return home to him and his father. The implications of what has happened to bring about their return are too apparent and too full of meaning for him to consider without retreating. He hides in his room, refuses to speak to his father. His father, the man how progressive moral rationality who let the mother go with her lover in the first place so that they might have a happier, more reasonable existence.

At some point, reason becomes…

Anyway, the father was pining for his ex- , wandering their old home together, thinking of whether she was now happy, while the mother was in mourning and without money so that she and her daughter were forced into dire circumstance.

THE FATHER. That is exactly your mistake, never to have guessed any of my sentiments. 

THE MOTHER. After so many years apart, and all that had happened . . . 

THE FATHER. Was it my fault if that fellow carried you away? It happened quite sud- denly; for after he had obtained some job or other, I could find no trace of them; and so, not unnaturally, my interest in them dwindled. But the drama culminated unforeseen and violent on their return, when I was impelled by my miserable flesh that still lives . . . Ah! what misery, what wretchedness is that of the man who is alone and disdains debasing liaisons! Not old enough to do without women, and not young enough to go and look for one without shame. Misery? It’s worse than misery; it’s a horror; for no woman can any longer give him love; and when a man feels this . . . One ought to do without, you say? Yes, yes, I know. Each of us when he appears before his fellows is clothed in a certain dignity. But every man knows what unconfessable things pass within the secrecy of his own heart. One gives way to the temptation, only to rise from it again, afterwards, with a great eagerness to reestablish one’s dignity, as if it were a tombstone to place on the grave of one’s shame, and a monument to hide and sign the memory of our weaknesses. Everybody’s in the same case. Some folks haven’t the courage to say certain things, that’s all! 

THE STEP-DAUGHTER All appear to have the courage to do them though.

So, the father’s reason was a silence that wished to be understood.

THE FATHER. Yes, but in secret. Therefore, you want more courage to say these things. Let a man but speak these things out, and folks at once label him a cynic. But it isn’t true. He is like all the others, better indeed, because he isn’t afraid to reveal with the light of the intelligence the red shame of human bes- tiality on which most men close their eyes so as not to see it. Woman —for example, look at her case! She turns tantalizing inviting glances on you. You seize her. No sooner does she feel herself in your grasp than she closes her eyes. It is the sign of her mission, the sign by which she says to man: “Blind yourself, for I am blind.” 

THE STEP-DAUGHTER. Sometimes she can close them no more: when she no longer feels the need of hiding her shame to herself, but dry-eyed and dispassionately, sees only that of the man who has blinded himself without love. Oh, all these intellectual complications make me sick, disgust me—all this philosophy that uncovers the beast in man, and then seeks to save him, excuse him . . . I can’t stand it, sir. When a man seeks to “simplify” life bestially, throwing aside every relic of humanity, every chaste aspiration, every pure feeling, all sense of ide- ality, duty, modesty, shame . . . then nothing is more revolting and nauseous than a certain kind of remorse—crocodiles’ tears, that’s what it is. 

THE MANAGER. Let’s come to the point. This is only discussion. 

THE FATHER. Very good, sir! But a fact is like a sack which won’t stand up when it is empty. In order that it may stand up, one has to put into it the reason and sentiment which have caused it to exist. I couldn’t possibly know that after the death of that man, they had decided to return here, that they were in misery, and that she (pointing to the Mother) had gone to work as a modiste, and at a shop of the type of that of Madame Pace.

Blindness? Truth? Meta-Narrative tricks in a play from the 1920s having to do with psychological ablutions of character and authorship?

THE FATHER. He disappears soon, you know. And the baby too. She is the first to vanish from the scene. The drama consists finally in this: when that mother reenters my house, her family born outside of it, and shall we say superimposed on the original, ends with the death of the little girl, the tragedy of the boy and the flight of the elder daughter. It cannot go on, because it is foreign to its surroundings. So after much torment, we three remain: I, the mother, that son. Then, owing to the disappearance of that extraneous family, we too find ourselves strange to one another. We find we are living in an atmosphere of mortal desolation which is the revenge, as he (indicating Son) scornfully said of the Demon of Experiment, that unfortunately hides in me. Thus, sir, you see when faith is lacking, it becomes impossible to create certain states of happiness, for we lack the necessary humility. Vaingloriously, we try to substitute ourselves for this faith, creating thus for the rest or the world a reality which we believe after their fashion, while, actually, it doesn’t exist. For each one of us has his own reality to be respected before God, even when it is harmful to one’s very self.

If this is a play about seeking an ‘author’, in the sense of an ‘authority’, the lesson seems to be, be careful what character you choose to make the Father of your collective situation.

THE FATHER: We act that role for which we have been cast, that role which we are given in life. And in my own case, passion itself, as usually happens, becomes a trifle theatrical when it is exalted.

But in the end, it is just another play, a trifle, a diversion, which the MANAGER has reason to lament even being made aware of. And so, the art we divert ourselves with, the entertainment that we choose to center us, apart from our lives, is like the mother who wants the best but cannot provide what we ourselves must deliver into the story.

THE MANAGER (shaking his shoulders after a brief pause)Ah yes: the second act! Leave it to me, leave it all to me as we arranged, and you’ll see! It’ll go fine! 

THE STEP-DAUGHTER. Our entry into his house (indicates Father) in spite of him (indicates the Son. . . 

THE MANAGER (out of patience)Leave it to me, I tell you!

THE STEP-DAUGHTER. Do let it be clear, at any rate, that it is in spite of my wishes.

THE MOTHER (from her corner, shaking her head)For all the good that’s come of it . . . 

THE STEP-DAUGHTER (turning towards her quickly)It doesn’t matter. The more harm done us, the more remorse for him. 

THE MANAGER (impatiently)I understand! Good Heavens! I understand! I’m taking it into account. 

THE MOTHER (supplicatingly)I beg you, sir, to let it appear quite plain that for con- science sake I did try in every way . . . 

THE STEP-DAUGHTER (interrupting indignantly and continuing for the Mother)… to pacify me, to dissuade me from spiting him. (To Manager: ) Do as she wants: satisfy her, because it is true! I enjoy it immensely. Anyhow, as you can see, the meeker she is, the more she tries to get at his heart, the more distant and aloof does he become. 

THE MANAGER. Are we going to begin this second act or not?

And so, this strange family commences. Made of characters and actors. All of us, seeking our authority.

THE SON (half to himself, meaning the Mother to hear, however)And they want to put it on the stage! If there was at least a reason for it! He thinks he has got at the meaning of it all. Just as if each one of us in every circumstance of life couldn’t find his own explanation of it! (Pauses.) He complains he was discovered in a place where he ought not to have been seen, in a moment of his life which ought to have remained hidden and kept out of the reach of that convention which he has to maintain for other people. And what about my case? Haven’t I had to reveal what no son ought ever to reveal: how father and mother live and are man and wife for themselves quite apart from that idea of father and mother which we give them? When this idea is revealed, our life is then linked at one point only to that man and that woman; and as such it should shame them, shouldn’t it?

Enough. The show must go on!

THE MANAGER. Will you oblige me by going away? We haven’t time to waste with mad people. 

THE FATHER (mellifluously)Oh, sir, you know well that life is full of infinite absurdities, which, strangely enough, do not even need to appear plausible, since they are true. 

THE MANAGER. What the devil is he talking about?

THE FATHER. I say that to reverse the ordinary process may well be considered a madness-: that is, to create credible situations, in order that they may appear true. But permit me to observe that if this be madness, it is the sole raison d’être of your profession, gentlemen. 

(THE ACTORS look hurt and perplexed.

THE MANAGER (getting up and looking at him)So our profession seems to you one worthy of madmen then? 

THE FATHER. Well, to make seem true that which isn’t true . . . without any need . . . for a joke as it were . . . Isn’t that your mission, gentlemen: to give life to fan- tastic characters on the stage? 

THE MANAGER (interpreting the rising anger of the Company)But I would beg you to believe, my dear sir, that the profession of the comedian is a noble one. If today, as things go, the playwrights give us stupid comedies to play and puppets to represent instead of men, remember we are proud to have given life to immortal works here on these very boards! (THE ACTORS, satisfied, applaud their Manager.) 

THE FATHER (interrupting furiously)Exactly, perfectly, to living beings more alive than those who breathe and wear clothes: beings less real perhaps, but truer! I agree with you entirely. (The actors look at one another in amazement.) 

THE MANAGER. But what do you mean? Before, you said . . . 

THE FATHER. No, excuse me, I meant it for you, sir, who were crying out that you had no time to lose with madmen, while no one better than yourself knows that nature uses the instrument of human fantasy in order to pursue her high creative purpose. 

THE MANAGER. Very well,—but where does all this take us?

THE FATHER. Nowhere! It is merely to show you that one is born to life in many forms, in many shapes, as tree, or as stone, as water, as butterfly, or as woman. So one may also be born a character in a play.

NOVEMBER 2018 – Self-Help For Writers and Other Imaginary Peoples

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Hello Monarch Writers!

We’ve been talking about the philosopher Hegel, a very complex and influential figure in philosophy, and we’ve got a good overview in the Literary Theory text we’re working through.

The study guide I prepared earlier in the month for the study of Hegel and how he relates in particular to the practice of writing is up now on the Monarch Writers site here, in case you want to refer back to that ever.

One of the main focuses of our study of Hegel is his motion ‘from substance to subject’, that is, seeing how individual parts of a system, when looked at in situ —as part of a WHOLE— jump, start, and stir, to become living things, as the system itself is a living thing! And this is a wonderful way of looking at stories, where flat characters, upon striving to write an organic-whole piece, become lively creatures who climb the walls and leap off the page.

In continuing this focus, I’d like to attempt a strange exercise for Monday’s meeting, and look at a list I got from a self-improvement web site – a list of 23 ways to make yourself better everyday, and I’d like to look at these in the meeting and see if we can morph them creatively into ways we can make our characters, and our stories, and our characters -in-our-stories- become something more alive.

So, the list is below, take a look before hand, see if anything springs to mind, jot down a few ideas, feel free to stretch around corners to let good ideas come forth, it’s just a prompt after all. And come to the meeting on Monday ready to discuss!

https://www.developgoodhabits.com/self-improvement/

Practices That Make You Better Every Day

1. Keep a reading habit.

Don’t isolate your characters from the real world
While you don’t have to constantly be breaking the
FOURTH WALL
Your characters should be aware of the real world
And that tension between them and their story
Is what makes the reader want to read
And bring them to life by continuing reading
BUT

2. Have a growth mindset.

You want to not break the ‘vivid and continuous dream’

Things will come up that interrupt your ‘plan’, for your life, for your story, for your characters.

You are not so much dictator putting on a parade in tribute of your skills as leader, as an alchemist creating a Frankenstein monster out of parts of your favorite pieces of art, and the world, and your experience, and dreams. With a dash of wild destiny, and rebellious pursuit of some dream of purpose your great work holds in its heart for itself. Whether it has the heart of an athlete, the brain of a madman, hands of a great thief, or the toes of a magician… the wondrous thing is when the lightning strikes the disparate flesh of words and bits, and congeals the parts, and it comes ALIVE!

3. Meditate regularly.

The Idea of
ROMANTIC IRONY* (*SEE THE END OF THIS PACKET. I’ve quoted a section on Romantic Irony from the next chapter in the Literary Criticism Text we’re using: Chapter 16: Romanticism (I): Germany and France – Which discusses the phenomenon of ‘ROMANTIC IRONY’ more in depth and which we’ll be talking about more in December

4. Align your priorities with your goals and values.

Writing is about
MAKING CHOICES
And making choices is about
EXPRESSING VALUES

How Do your characters’ struggles affect them?
Do they break them? Make them?
Or Take them… some other place altogether?

5. Visualize your success.

In my opinion, in order to chase that united vision and holistic artwork, one should

Write the Whole Piece at Every
Juncture, as Much as that is Possible
But also, Give Focus To Each Scene As
It Is The Most Import In The Moment

Your CHARACTERS have motivations, or they should.
Goals, desires, things they are chasing.
Give them scenes of pining, scenes where they glimpse the thing they strive for. Scenes that further motivate them, perhaps only the throw them down again, back into the chase.
But, which make them stronger? More themselves?

6. Measure your improvement.

Keep in Mind What You’ve Written
And Revisit It Often
ReRead and Don’t Be So Critical
That You’re Constantly ReWriting,
RATHER,

7. Make good use of your time.

There is always
SOMETHING
to Write
TODAY

8. Learn new skills.

Take time away from the literal writing from those things that should be left unsaid or the bits too dark for TV.
Paint a piece of used furniture,
Make a Collage,
Take a walk to someplace new and take some pictures

Practices for the Body

9. Exercise on the regular.

TAKE WALKS!
Best exercise in the world, especially for writers,
because it’s a great pace for thinking.

10. Respect your body.

Or abuse it, for the sake of a story.
How much coffee can you drink before you die?
That’s a story in itself.
As long as you survive to tell it, or, like Hamlet, have
someone to tell with your dying breath, some witness,
“If thou didst ever hold me in my heart
Absent thee from felicity awhile
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain
To
TELL
MY
STORY”

But respect the fact that if you don’t take care of your body, it will kill you.

11. Practice self-care.

For real, tho.

12. Eat mindfully.

Vegetables. Potatoes and whutnot.

13. Schedule regular breaks and down time.

“Sometimes it’s the fight that keeps you out of the ring.”

14. Mind your daily water intake.

Drink a bunch of H2O.
Keeps you awake and fresh.

Practices for the Soul

15. Practice daily mindfulness.

Directed thinking.
Think about your writing, on purpose.

Is your character the type to make great realizations?
Are they the victim of circumstance, or are they, -or are they BECOMING- a person who rises above the waves to be a mover and shaker, someone who other people watch to see what’s going down? Have they got their sails out and tuned into their own winds? Pumping loud their own drum beats?

16. Practice mindful listening.

Does your character have a favorite song?
Or twenty favorite songs they’ve been listening two exclusively the past year and they feel like they’re living in a biodome against the rest of the world, some kind of experiment, some kind of lost civilization, and what’s wrong with the rest of you?

17. Practice gratitude.

If your character did catch that break,
how would they respond?

Do you look on the bright side?

Strike a healthy balance between remembering tough times and hoping and enjoying the good times, because if you let go of the pain too easily, you’ll fall back into those habits that lead to trouble. It’s best to remember some parts of what causes your woes, if only to avoid those pitfalls. And be thankful things aren’t worse when they’re just going okay.

18. Recite positive affirmations.

READ.
Put quotes up on your wall.
Treat language how you want them to treat your words.
Graffiti the truth on sidewalks and tape posters of your most frequent incantations inside the walls of the skulls of the apathetic.

19. Develop a mindful journaling habit.

Is your character an artist?
These days, everyone has their fifteen minutes, spread out over social media, looking for that one viral post.
Everyone’s an artist nowadays.
Mindful, of course, is another sort of animal.

20. Surround yourself with positive people.
Does your character have that person they can confide in?
Are they their own person? More than just some supporting actor in the main character’s mythos?

21. Heal your negative self-talk.
&
22. Learn to forgive yourself and others.

There are many formulas you can borrow and lean on, or at least study to give your character an arc. From Joseph Campbell’s ‘The Hero’s Journey’ even to Alcoholic Anonymous’ 12 Steps, many things can be graphed onto your tale to provide a skeleton for you to ply some flesh onto.
Take the time to Bake up some ginger bread protagonists (it makes the whole house smell delicious), or plant some plot seeds and water them a bit with details from the Possibilities-Can each morning, and watch how you lose the negative attitude that you can’t paint like the masters, because you realize there is a reason you were drawn to writing. Because you have your own style and enjoy words, language, making phrases and meaning, into stories, and moving pictures. Imagining things and creating the meaning of a happening that only you can convey.

23. Be giving and kind.

Be a generous writer. Be ambitious, take risks, aim for big effects.
Give your plots and characters a wildness, a recklessness. Tell those bone truths that are dangerous to explore but more dangerous to ignore.
Lay it all on the table, and know when it’s necessary to call the dealer out, the game rigged, the exchange blasphemous, and flip the table over with a joyous yell! Stand up to the silence that suffocates the spirit, run into the burning building to save those photographs that prove the past the dream destroyers would have the world forget, protect with clenched fists (and nimble, typing digits) the delicate things, the mysteries that will be forgotten from neglect, that you can save with the strength of your own hands, alone.

 

 

*THE CONCEPT OF ROMANTIC IRONY

 

The Romantic self was a profounder, more authentic ego lying beneath the layers of social convention, a self which attempted through principles such as irony to integrate the increasingly fragmented elements of the bourgeois world into a vision of unity. And it was primarily the poet who could achieve such a vision. In general, the Romantics exalted the status of the poet, as a genius whose originality was based on his ability to discern connections among apparently discrepant phenomena and to elevate human perception toward a comprehensive, unifying vision.

The most crucial human faculty for such integration was the imagination, which most Romantics saw as a unifying power, one which could harmonize the other strata of human perception such as sensation and reason. It should be noted that Romanticism is often wrongly characterized as displacing Enlightenment “reason” with emotion, instinct, spontaneity, and imagination. To understand what is at issue here, it is necessary to recall that much Romantic thought took Kant’s philosophy (which itself
was not at all Romantic) as its starting point, notably his distinction between phenomena and noumena, his treatment of imagination, and his establishing of a relative autonomy for the category of the aesthetic. Kant’s relation to Enlightenment thought was indeed ambivalent inasmuch as he attempted to establish the limitations of reason. However, Kant declared that the categories of the understanding applied throughout the phenomenal world; his notion of the noumenon is merely a limiting concept and its actual existence is nothing more than a presupposition of morality and free will. He had, moreover, viewed imagination as a mediating principle which reconciled the deliverances of sensation with the categories of the understanding. The Romantics, like Hegel (who himself was certainly not a Romantic), placed the noumenal realm within the reach of human apprehension, and often exalted the function of imagination, viewing it as a vehicle for the attainment of truths beyond the phenomenal world and beyond the reach of reason alone. But they did not attempt to dismiss or discard the findings of logic and reason, merely to place these within a more embracing scheme of perception. Hence Coleridge saw the secondary imagination, peculiar to the poet, as a unifying power which could reconcile general and concrete, universal and particular. Shelley even saw imagination as having a moral function, as a power enabling the self to situate itself within a larger empathetic scheme, as opposed to reason, which expressed the selfish constraints of the liberal atomistic self. Hence the relation between Romanticism and the mainstreams of bourgeois thought, which had risen to hegemony on the waves of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution, was deeply ambivalent. Our own era is profoundly pervaded by this ambivalent heritage.

This ambivalent connection of Romanticism to bourgeois thought operated through both the notion of imagination and the equally archetypal notion of Romantic irony. The ancient Roman authors Cicero and Quintilian had followed the Greeks in defining irony as a form of dissemblance whereby a speaker’s intention differed from his statements. This broad definition of irony remained in currency through late antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the neoclassical era. Both the French Encyclopédie of 1765 and Johnson’s Dictionary reiterated the definition of irony as a figure of speech in which the meaning undermines or opposes the actual words used to express it.

It was only at the end of the eighteenth century that irony rose in status from a mere rhetorical device to an entire way of looking at the world, becoming, in the guise of Romantic irony, an index of a broad philosophic vision. The emergence of this change is usually dated to Schlegel’s Fragments of 1797, which accords irony an epistemological  and ontological function, seeing it as a mode of confronting and transcending the contradictions of the finite world. The theorizing of irony in this direction was furthered by numerous writers including Heine, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche. At the core of irony as formulated by most nineteenth-century thinkers was a Romantic propensity to confront, rather than overlook, the obstinate disorder, contingency, flux, and mystery of the world. In this sense, an ironic vision accepts that the world can be viewed from numerous irreconcilable perspectives, and rejects any providential, rational, or logical foreclosure of the world’s absurdity and contradictions into a spurious unity. Yet such Romantic irony is not entirely negative: while it rejects the “objective” order imposed upon experience or the world by religious or rational means, it seeks a higher transcendent unity and purpose, grounded ultimately in subjectivity. Modernist irony is seen by most theorists as a development of Romantic irony and as entailing a dual posture: a negation of prevailing values and institutions, and a helpless complicity with them. However, it diverges from Romantic irony in being more nihilistic, despairing over the possibility of transcending or changing the current state of affairs. Irony effectively entails a failed search for meaning and unity.

The “Romantic” metamorphosis of irony in the eighteenth century from a classical and medieval rhetorical device to an index of a metaphysical perspective was integrally tied to the broader social and political changes earlier invoked. The emergence and rapid theorizing of irony as a metaphysical perspective coincided with the era in which the hegemony of bourgeois interests and values was establishing itself not only in political life and economic practice but also in philosophy, literature, and science. Irony was essentially an idealistic reaction against the mainstream tendencies of bourgeois thought which attempted to define the world in terms of its own clear-cut categories, founded on rationalism, pragmatic efficiency, and an atomistic and utilitarian commodification of all the elements of the world, including the human subject. Underlying these tendencies lay the conviction that, in principle, knowledge, reason, and science could extend their control over all aspects of human life.

The Romantic thinkers who embraced an ironic vision reacted against the reductively mechanistic, utilitarian, and commercial impetus of bourgeois thought. Irony was a means of reinvesting the world with mystery, of limiting the arrogant claims of reason, of denying the ideals of absolute clarity and definition, of reaffirming the profound interconnection of things, and of seeking for the human spirit higher and more spiritual forms of fulfillment than those available through material and commercial efficiency. Yet irony as a very mode of reaction bore the imprint of defeat: it could merely voice subjective protests against colossal historical movements which were already in process of realization, protests which often floated free of any viable basis of institutional change. The Romantics were struggling against a world whose materialistic, pragmatic, utilitarian, and scientistic foundations had already been laid since the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Like the French symbolists after them, their only recourse was to an ironic vision which insisted that reality is not confined to the here and now but embraces the past or is located in a Platonic ideal realm. The connections between Romanticism and subsequent eras have been influentially examined by M. H. Abrams, Frank Kermode, and others; as Marshall Brown notes, crucial elements of both elitist modernism and populist postmodernism can be traced back to Romantic criticism; the rhetorical, textual, and skeptical dimensions of Romanticism have been explored extensively by critics such as Paul de Man, J. Hillis Miller, Harold Bloom, and Stanley Cavell. Feminist approaches to Romanticism – advanced by scholars such as Margaret Homans, Susan Levin, Anne Mellor, and Mary Jacobus – have attempted to rescue neglected female authors, examined the ways in which some of the Romantics exploited women, questioned the Romantic masculine obsession with self, and challenged what they have seen as the essentialist doctrines of  Romanticism.

Good Hunting, Writers,

 

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