Romanticism and Nature
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Romanticism and Nature book
One of the most disquieting features of the modern movement is the vagueness and ambiguity of its use of the word nature and the innumerable sophistries that have resulted. Even writers like Rabelais and Moliere are not free from the suspicion of juggling dangerously on occasion with the different meanings of the word nature. But the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were not merely naturalistic, they were also humanistic, and what they usually meant by nature, was the conception of normal, representative human nature that they had worked out with the aid of the ancients. The nature cult arose at a time when the traditional religious symbols were becoming incredible. The primitivistic fallacies of the German romanticists in their dealings with the symbol and metaphor appear in various forms in French romanticism and even more markedly in its continuation known as the symbolistic movement.