Romantic Period Romantic Age - S

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Romantic Period Romantic Age - S Powered By Docstoc
					           The Romantic Age
  When we speak of Romanticism, we speak of
living, thinking, perceiving, and communicating
   with a focus on subjectivity rather than with
              What does that mean?

   Subjective and objective are opposites.
     Objective refers to facts and logic.
Subjective refers to gut feelings, intuition, and
                      The Romantic Age
In practice, Romanticism comprised a rebellion against neo-classicism. Romanticism
emphasized individualism, imagination, free expression of feeling, communion with
nature and the idea of the creative artist as a visionary genius. Romanticism saw the
artist as processing ultimate insight into fundamental reality and revealing it, through
impassioned self-expression, in a work of art that embodies, however imperfectly, a
sublime ideal that transcends the ordinary world. Nature, wild and unspoiled, often
served as a metaphor for that idealism and some saw art as the highest form of human

Individualism is one of the basic beliefs of Romanticism, and the theory of
individualism places the value, self-government and benefit of the individual over
that of the group, society or nation. It makes the individual the prime unit in the social
system. Individualism views all social activity comprised of individual acts and forms
the core of Romanticism‘s belief in the uniqueness of each human being. This idea
finds its core in the Renaissance idea of humanism and in the Protestant Reformation,
which stressed the idea of each humans ability to intercede without mediator (priest)
to God and each individuals personal responsibility for individual salvation.
                     Technology of the Time
 Gas was used as both a fuel and for lighting in early part of 19th century but
   before the century ended, electricity had replaced gas as a source of light.

The harnessing of electricity allowed for a continuous flow of current and this
       allowed it to be used for heating, lighting and mechanical energy.
     Incandescent light bulbs, electric powered streetcars made horse cars
     obsolete. Long transmission lines and transformers carried electricity
                         throughout the Western world.

    By the mid 19th century the world‘s entire transportation system had
                       undergone a complete revolution.

 New technology also revolutionized industrial processes. Steam engines ran
  sawmills, printing presses, pumping stations, and hundreds of other kinds of
                  Technology of the Time
  The discovery of electricity made the telegraph possible in 1832. Telegraph
 lines spanned the continents and by 1866 were joined through a transatlantic
Mining production increased when new explosives, based on nitroglycerin, and
          more powerful hoisting and pumping equipment evolved.
 In America, a new process for producing what became known as ―Bessemer
  steel‖ soon made wrought iron obsolete and provided high quality steel for
              rails, ships and later for building beams and girders.
 Further refinement made even higher quality, more economical steel and the
   development of the rolling mill made even more applications available
 including cable for suspension bridges. The most famous use of suspension
           cable is with the Brooklyn Bridge which arose in 1883.
              Technology of the Time
        A major problem in food distribution had been the
     shipment and storage of perishables. Natural ice served
   worldwide worked for large scale refrigeration during the
   early part of the century. However, just after the middle of
     the century, the development of ice cabinets the size of
    railroad cars and improved tools for harvesting ice meant
      that perishable goods could be refrigerated and frozen
           goods could be shipped across the continent.

   Also, during the middle part of the century, the discovery
   of pasteurization eliminated several milk borne diseases.

The canning process, allowing food preservation, was developed
                  Social Changes
The Industrial Revolution began in Britain and by the end of
 the Napoleonic wars in 1815, spread to France and the rest
  of Europe. It gained momentum as it spread and by 1871
     major industrial centers had been established all over

Coal and Iron production gave Britain, Germany, France and
    Belgium the lead in European industry. However, vast
  resources of coal, iron and other raw materials, more than
   all Europe had, soon caused the United States to be in a
               position of economic dominance.

 Throughout the Western world, centers of heavy industry
      grew up around sources of the raw materials and
                  transportation routes.
                       Social Changes
Colonial expansion provided world markets for new goods. Wealth increased
 enormously, and although the effects of investment affected every level of
society, the main effect of industrialization proved to fall into the hands of a
  relatively small class of capitalists. Populations grew as the mortality rate
     Went down. A new class of machine workers, ―blue-collar workers‖

 The new machine worker class came from pre-industrial homes and farms
  and now lived and worked in deplorable conditions. They were no longer
   their own boss, but a virtual slave. Unable to help themselves, they were
     limited by organization restrictions, lack of education, and threatened
     constantly by threats of unemployment. Slums, tenements, horrifying
             living conditions were all they had to look forward to.
                         Social Changes
Meanwhile, the middle class turned toward Liberalism. Liberalism built its political
   Program on movements that would enhance middle class power. It gained
 widespread support. The middle class program reflected a laissez-faire, or ―Let
                the people do as they please,‖ economic policy.

 A new morality code stressed individual freedom. The ―free man‖ emerged as the
 model of what one could achieve only by standing on ones own feet and creating
one‘s own destiny. Individual freedom came by struggle and eventual triumph. The
  unfit---degraded masses---perished while the fit---a few rugged individuals---

   The masses, however, wanted to count too. In order for them to do so, two
conditions had to be met. They needed a basic education and a basic confidence in
                    Social Changes
    Only Prussia had a public school system that provided mass
education. Britain and France did nothing about this until the 1870‘s
and 1880‘s. In the United States, support for public education began
    as early as 1820, but did not take root until mid-century and
mandatory attendance for elementary school wasn‘t to begin until the
                       end of the 19th century.

    Many different solutions for the working class emerged, most
 importantly the socialism of Karl Marx. Gradually, and with much
  bloodshed, workers gained the right to form unions. But it wasn‘t
 until the 2nd half of the century that they actually begin to unionize
                    and promote their own interests.
        Concepts of the Romantic Period
      Marxism—Karl Marx, a German economist, philosopher, and
     revolutionist, developed the body of ideas known as Marxism and,
   together with Friedrich Engles, formed the basic principles of modern
                         socialism and communism.

   According the Marx, private property caused humans to work only
  for themselves, not for the good of their species. He also argued that
  alienation had an economic base and he called for a communist society
      to overcome the dehumanizing effect of private property. Under
  capitalism, the conflict between the middle and business classes would
                     end in a new communist society.

In The Communist Manifesto written by Marx, he argues that all history
   was determined by humanity‘s relationship to material wealth and that
      governments served only the interests of the ruling class. Under
   capitalism, the conflict between the middle and business classes would
                      end in a new communist society.
       Concepts of the Romantic Period
     Evolutionism—Charles Darwin‘s “The Origin of Species” was
  published in 1859. The concept of evolution clashed with Christianity.
    Protestant denominations came to grip with evolution because they
  recognized the right of private individuals to make private judgments,
   Pope Pius IX rejected evolution in his ―Syllabus of Errors” in 1864.

  Idealism---from Immanuel Kant. As far as Kant was concerned, the real
      world, so far as humans could rationalize it, comprised a mental
reconstruction, an ideal world of understanding; thus, the nature of reality is
                      of the nature of the mind---ideal.
     Concepts of the Romantic Period
   Positivism—came from a Frenchman Auguste Comte, who regarded
philosophy‘s task as the sorting out of factual details of worldly existence
rather than the solution of riddles of an unknown universe. Positivism later
               formed the basis for the science of sociology.

Materialism---In Britain, Herbert Spencer explained that Darwin‘s theory
 of evolution provided the framework for the study of society as much as
   nature. He believed that a struggle for existence and ―survival of the
  fittest‖ formed fundamental social processes and that the human mind,
 ethics, social organization and economics were ―exactly what they ought
                                   to be.‖
         Concepts of the Romantic Period
Internationalism---mechanization, especially in transportation and communication,
  made the 19th century an international age, while at the same time, nations strove
       for individual power. While communications networks bridged distances,
 international agreements emerged. This set fierce and imperialistic competition for
      raw materials and marketplaces. Late 19th century saw various no-nonsense
  alliances and treaties forged under the disguise of cooperation, but in reality they
                                 laid the way for war.

       The times were filled with turbulence and frustration. In France, an entire
 generation of young men were raised in an era of patriotic and military fervor under
  Napoleon. When Napoleon was defeated, these young men vegetated in a country
      ruined by war and controlled by a weak conservative government. Feelings of
        isolation and alienation increased. The suffering, isolated, sensitive youth,
    personified by Goethe‘s Werther became the Romantic hero. Curiosity about the
    supernatural ran rampant with escape to Utopia, a common goal. Those who saw
                salvation in a ‗return to nature‖ saw nature, on one hand, as
the ultimate source of reason, and, on the other hand, as a boundless, completely free
environment in which all emotions could be freely expressed. This latter idea forged a
                                    core for Romanticism.
            The Romantic Age
Many painters willingly championed the cause of
 Romanticism; it had an emotional appeal and its
subjects tended toward the picturesque, including
nature, Gothic images and often, the macabre. In
   seeking to break the geometric principles of
  classical composition. Romantic compositions
moved toward fragmentation of images, with the
    intention of dramatizing, personalizing and
              escaping into imagination.
The role of the artist changed significantly in the 19th century. For the first
   time, art could exist without the support of significant aristocratic and
   religious commissions and patronage. In fact, some artists deliberately
 resisted patronages because they imposed unwelcome limits on individual
   expression. However, the aristocracy was still the most likely group to
         sponsor expensive works of art due to their privilege in life.

     Artists enjoyed a new place in the social order. Much art turned
   individualistic and increasingly critical of society and its institutions. A
   huge gap between personal expression and established values prompted
  some artists to try out increasingly personal and experimental techniques.
 In many cases, artists (especially visual artists) were barred from the world
   with which they needed to communicate. The traditional academies that
  controlled formal exhibitions would not hang their work and commercial
   galleries, where the public would see, would not buy them. As a result,
    many artists became social outcasts, the starving Romantic heroes, of
    public legend. We can find these ―starving artists‖--- a poet, painter,
  philosopher and musician---explored in Puccini‘s opera La Boheme (The
  Bohemians), and the ―bohemian lifestyle‖ remains a phrase that refers to
                              such a way of living.
          Francisco Goya 1746-1828
 A Spanish artist whose style
changed dramatically because
   of the warfare in Spain.
 His work changed from neat
   and precise to bold and

He used his paintings to attack
     the abuses caused by
governments, both the Spanish
  and the French. His work is
 highly imaginative and often
nightmarish which captures the
    emotional character of
   humanity and nature, and
frequently their maliciousness.
   This picture tells a
true story. On that day,
 the citizens of Madrid
  rebelled against the
                               Francisco Goya
    invading army of
  Napoleon which, in
  response, arbitrarily
 arrested and executed
      Goya makes a
  powerful social and
 emotional statement.
  Napoleon‘s soldiers
   form a rigid strike
   line, faces hidden.
Goya has no sympathy
for the French soldiers
as human beings here.
 His subjectivity takes
  over the painting as
    emotional as the
 irrational behavior he
  wished to condemn.       ―3rd of May‖ was inspired by a massacre Goya witnessed in Madrid,
                                  ―The Sleep of

―Saturn Devouring his Children‖
        John Constable 1776-1837
                        English painter

Known primarily as a landscape artist (one of Britain‘s greatest)

   Took many walks with his sketchbook and painted later,
                referring to his sketches

 Due to the introduction of manufacturing, the real landscape
                       changed quickly

Constable‘s landscapes often looked quite different from reality
                      upon completion.
               John Constable 1776-1837
Constable was more taken
with the humble everyday
aspects of nature than with the
sublime or mystical ones. He
was attracted to his native
countryside and painted his
pleasure in simple things. He
studied clouds, rain, light and
Constable painted only those
things that he knew and loved.
He never traveled far from
home because he found all the
beauty and inspiration he ever
needed at home.

“Wivenhoe Park, Essex” by
“Tree Trunks”
         Eugene Delacroix 1798-1863
Eugene Delacroix is
numbered among the
greatest and most
influential of French

He is most often
classified as a
typical Romantic artist.

His remarkable use of
color was later to
influence Impressionist
                                                          ―The Lion Hunt‖
painters and even modern artists such as Pablo Picasso.
       Eugene Delacroix 1798-1863
His trademarks are glowing
colors, blurred edges and
swirling action.

Delacroix used diagonal design,
strong emotion and dramatic
Lighting which is also typical of
the Romantic Period.

Colors are not blended
smoothly together.

His work usually has an action

                                    ―Liberty Leading the People‖
―Arabian Horses Fighting in a Stable‖
              Romanticism and the Theatre
  Romanticism as a philosophy proved to be it‘s own worst enemy in
 the theatre. Artists sought new forms to express great truths, and they
 strove to free themselves from neo-classical rules and restraints. They
 admired Shakespeare as an example of new ideals and as a symbol of
freedom from structural confinement. Romantic writers had no use for
     any guide but their own imagination. Unfortunately the theatre
  operates with some rather specific time limits and many playwrights
 of the time wrote un-stageable or unplayable scripts and great writers
    could not or would not abide by constraints of the stage while the
hacks, yielding to the popular taste, could not resist over-indulgence in
   phony emotionalism, melodrama and stage gimmickry. As a result,
       the best Romantic theatre productions came from William
    Shakespeare whose work saw a revival in a great rush in the 19th
           Romanticism and the Theatre
     Royal patronage evaporated and ticket sales paid
                        the bills.

      A rising middle class caused a great increase in
 the 18th century audience then, in the 19th century, lower
        classes started to attend the theatre as well.
    The Industrial Revolution had created large urban
   populations and expanded public education to a degree.

As feelings of social equality spread throughout Europe and
  America, theatre audiences grew and the theatre building
            Romanticism and the Theatre
  19th century theatre developed a romantically exaggerated
Form called ―melodrama.‖ This kind of theatre generally uses
    sentimentality and sensationalism. Characters remained
  stereotypical and everything and everyone else tends to be
either all good or all evil. Plots are sentimental and the action
   exaggerated. Regardless of circumstances, good must be
rewarded and evil punished. Often some form of comic relief
   appeared, although it was usually a minor character. The
villain of the melodrama progresses at the whim of the villain
 and the hero must endure episode after episode of trial and
        Romanticism and the Theatre
 Melodrama implies music and drama. And, in the 19th
   century, these plays were accompanied by a musical
  score tailored to the emotional or dynamic character of
    the scene, this is similar to music usage in films and
 television today, with the added attractions of incidental
   songs and dances used as curtain raisers and entr‘acte

Melodrama saw great popularity throughout Europe and
 the United states and a classical example, Uncle Tom’s
 Cabin based on Harriet Beecher Stowe‘s novel (1852),
                 took the stage by storm.
           Romanticism and Melodrama
A true form of melodrama exists only in 19th century classics such as
                      ―The Streets of London‖.

Melodrama presents a clear cut view of morality, leaving no room to
             question the motivation of the characters.

  Melodrama, like a sentimental comedy, presents a trite storyline.
  Melodrama is based on the structure of tragedy and it focuses more
   on the actions of the characters rather than on their motivations.

Melodrama originated in England and is marked by its use of stock.

            Every act of melodrama ends with a climax.
          Romanticism and Music
     In an era of romantic subjectivity, music
  provided the medium in which many found an
   unrivaled opportunity to express emotion. In
trying to express emotion, Romantic music made
stylistic changes to classical music and, although
 Romanticism amounted to rebellion in many of
the arts, in music it involved a more gradual and
     natural extension of classical principles.
                Romanticism and Music
 Spontaneity replaced control, but music put its primary emphasis on
 beautiful, lyrical and expressive melody. Phrases grew longer, more
   irregular and more complex than in classical music. Experiments
 produced new meters and patterns. Composers emphasized colorful
     harmonies and instrumentation, seeing harmony as a means of
  expression and ―laws‖ regarding key relationships as breakable in
              Order to achieve striking emotional effects.

Composers sought to disrupt the listener‘s expectations and this led to
 more and more dissonance. Interest in tonal color, or timbre, led to a
great diversity of vocal and instrumental performance and the music of
this period abounds with solo works and shows a tremendous increase
                in the size and diversity of the orchestra.
              Romanticism and Music
Improvements on piano design allowed for a warmer, richer
  tone and improvements in pedal technique made
  sustained notes possible. This made the piano have more
  flexibility and an excellent solo instrument. New works
  were produced just for the piano, ranging from short
  intimate pieces to larger works to allow for great virtuoso

One of the new ways that Romantic composers structured
 their longer works was to build them around a non-
 musical story, a picture, or some other ideas. It is called
 ―descriptive.‖ When the idea is specific and closely
 followed throughout the pieces the music is called,
 Program Music.
Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
         Momma‘s boy- sensitive and fearful
         Age 5, started piano
          Parents wanted him to be a lawyer,
          he went to law school and worked
          for the government, but HATED it

          Started composing and worked so
          hard that he had a nervous
  Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Woman named von Meck became his patroness for 13 years

    Age 37, married one of his students to cover up his
    homosexuality, but it didn‘t last (tried suicide –didn‘t
                        work either)

 Became famous for composing and was commissioned to
        write many works for Russian Nationalism

   Toured America in 1891 and fell into a depression,
 went back to Russia and drank unboiled water during a
 cholera outbreak – got the disease and died within a week.
                          Tchaikovsky’s Music
                                              8 operas

7 Symphonies – No. 6 ―Pathetique‖ inspired by a woman and ends in him killing her, being marched to a
                                      scaffold and a witch‘s dance

                                          3 piano concertos

                                          1 violin concerto

                                          ―1812 Overture‖

                                         ―Romeo and Juliet‖

                                            ―Swan Lake‖

                                         ―Sleeping Beauty‖

                               “Nutcracker”– his most famous piece

 Some say his music is too sentimental and emotional, but his beautiful melodies had a huge impact on
      Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
 Born in Germany to a family where
      the father was alcoholic

  Beethoven showed great talent in
 music at a young age and his father
   wanted him to be like Mozart.

So, often, his father would come home
drunk and force Beethoven to practice
 for hours in the middle of the night
  demanding perfection or he would
          beat the young boy.
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
At age 11, he wrote a three page
sonata. At age 14, he was being paid
to play.

He did at one point play for Mozart
(whom he idealized) and Mozart
really liked what he heard. In fact, he
actually said the following about
Beethoven: ―This young man will
leave his mark on the world.‖ (You
didn‘t know Mozart was a fortune
teller, did you?)
  Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Franz Josef Haydn was a teacher to Beethoven,
but they didn‘t get along. Haydn pushed the
Classical forms and Beethoven didn‘t like that.
  Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Over the years from 1801-1819, Beethoven
slowly went deaf. If he were alive today, a
simple surgery could have corrected the

This had a negative effect on his personality – he
became moody and temperamental. Most people
couldn‘t stand to be around him.
     Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
He never married, but raised a nephew
(against his will) when his sister died.

He quit appearing in public after the 9th
Symphony ―fiasco‖.

Modern reports say that he didn‘t die of
syphilis as the popular theory states, but
rather that he died of lead poisoning.
Scientists have done X-ray experiments on
pieces of his skull and 6 hairs which prove
conclusively that he had high concentrations
of lead in his system when he died.

Apparently, it causes a slow and painful
    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
 He was very famous in his
lifetime and very successful.

 When he died in Vienna,
  10,000 people lined the
streets to watch his funeral
  Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
       Beethoven bridges the gap between Classical music
         and Romantic music. His early music is really
        more ―classical‖ sounding – following forms and
       basic composition. His later works are much more
                emotional, dramatic and longer.

          He felt that music was poetry and tone painting

       He wrote thousands of pieces of music, but only 9
symphonies. His symphony No. 9 included the choral, ―Ode to Joy.‖

                  He wrote mostly piano music.
      Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
      Born in Vienna

Could play violin and piano
         and he sang

 Studied composition with
       Antonio Salieri

Tried to be a teacher like his
      father, but hated it
      Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Made friends easily and had a
small ―groupie‖ following

Was poor and unhealthy,
well-liked, but shy

Died at age 31 and was never
famous or successful

He loved Beethoven though they never met, but he wanted
to be buried near Beethoven and to this day, they are
forever beside each other.
    Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
  Like Mozart, he simply wrote down what was in his
    head – So, he wrote A LOT: 9 symphonies, 600
LIEDER (German art song), piano sonatas, dance pieces
                  and string quartets.

                   ―The Erlking‖

―Unfinished Symphony‖ – No. 8 had only 2 movements
                   instead of 4
    Richard Wagner (1813-1883)

Played piano and violin

Step father was an actor –
Wagner got jobs playing and
conducting in small theatres and
opera houses

1839- he and his wife skipped
  town to avoid paying debts
   Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
Eventually returned to Germany
   to compose BUT – then he
 joined an anti monarchy group
  and had to leave the country

While exiled in Switzerland, he
had many affairs, got divorced
and married his mistress (Franz
 Lizst‘s daughter) and had kids
    Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
 King Ludwig of Bavaria became
  his patron (to this day, Bavaria
has an annual Wagnerian festival)

   Anti Jew, Hitler loved him

Died in Venice while on vacation
               of a
          heart attack

        Buried in Bavaria
           Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
                    Mostly ―stage music‖ (he didn‘t call it opera)

                He changed opera – no longer about people, but ideas

                               He was a control freak

No more arias, but he demanded so much of his singers that the professionals had to be
                          retrained in order to sing his music

                      The orchestra was the most important part

       His unusual harmonies made innovations of 20th Century music possible

                                ―Flying Dutchman”

                            ―Lohengrin‖ – Bridal Chorus

                          “Tristan and Isolde‖ – No tonic

                       ―Ring Cycle‖ – long with several parts

                     ―Rite of Valkyries‖ – Listerine commercial
      Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
     Richard Wagner, a master of Romantic opera, drew heavily on
 German mythology. His philosophy centered on Gesamtkunstwerk, a
      comprehensive work in which music, poetry and scenery play
  subservient roles to the central generating idea. For Wagner, the total
  unity of all elements remained supremely important. In line with the
 German Romantic philosophy which gives music supremacy over the
other arts, music has the predominant role in Wagner‘s operas. Dramatic
meaning unfolds through the Leitmotif, for which Wagner is famous for,
although he did not invent it. Leitmotif is a music theme tied to an idea,
    a person, or object appears on stages or comes to mind in the action,
   we hear that theme. Juxtaposing Leitmotifs gives the audience an idea
    of relationships between their subjects as well as give the composer
 building blocks to use for development recapitulation and unification.
     Romanticism and Dance
 This period is considered to be the Golden Age of Ballet

   Two sources help us to understand Romantic ballet.
   The writings of Theophile Gautier and Carlo Blasis.

   Gautier, a poet and critic, held first that all beauty was
truth, a central Romantic conception. He also believed that
 dance acts as visual stimulation to show ―Beautiful forms
    in graceful attitudes.‖ For him, dancing was a living
  painting or sculpture ---‖physical pleasure and feminine
  beauty.‖ Gauntier had influence and it accounted for the
 central influence of the ballerina in Romantic ballet. Male
  dancers were put in the background, with strength being
             the only grace permissible to them.
                Romanticism and Dance
The second general premise for Romantic ballet came from Code of
Terpsichore by Blasis. Blasis was a former dancer and more systematic
and specific than Gautier, held principles covering training, structure and
positioning. Everything in the ballet required a beginning, middle and an
end. The basic attitude in dance comprised of standing on one leg with
the other brought up behind at a 90 degree angle with the knee bent. The
dancer needed to display the human figure with taste and elegance. From
Blasis comes the turned out position, still fundamental to ballet today.

These broad principles provided the framework, and, to a great extent, a
summary of objectives for Romantic ballet: delicate ballerinas, lightly
poised. Costumed in soft tulle and moving en pointe, with elegant grace.
          Romanticism and Dance
 Choreographers of Romantic ballet sought magic and
escape in fantasies and legends. Ballets about elves and
  nymphs, madness, sleepwalking and opium dreams
               enjoyed great popularity.

Giselle marks the height of Romantic achievement in
ballet with its many fine dancing roles for both female
                   and male dancers.

        La Bayadere is another classical ballet.
           Romanticism and Ballet
A classical ballet is a dramatic production that tells a
  story using the movement vocabulary of ballet

The ballon, (or lift and lightness of the ballerina) was
  enhanced by the innovation of the pointe shoe during
  the Romantic period.

The vocabulary of ballet is French

Plie is a ballet term that means ―to bend.‖ A Demi-Plie
  is a ―half‖ plie, a ―grand‖ is a large majestic Plie.
  Many people believe that the Romantic age has never ended and
  point to the self centered, nonrationalistic emotionalism of today‘s
                            attitudes and arts.

 Let‘s test that assertion and check its validity on things we contact
  daily. For example---daily soap operas, a favorite song, or even a
                                talk show.

 Take the situation apart and describe its parts, moods and attitudes
                   and see what we come up with.

    Do we come up with something restrained, idealized, simple,
                       carefully structured?

Or de we end up with unrestrained emotions, complexity, lifelikeness
                         and fragmentation?