Thursday, February 26, 2009

February 26: A David Who Sidestepped Goliath (Vol. 39, pp. 337-349)

The French writer Victor Hugo was born on this day in 1802, and in this piece, "A Preface to Cromwell," he sets down the manifesto of the romantic movement.

His statement that "the fruitful union of the grotesque and the sublime types that modern genius is born — so complex, so diverse in its forms, so inexhaustible in its creations; and therein directly opposed to the uniform simplicity of the genius of the ancients" is the shot that launched modernism as we now know it.

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