Half the artists who frequent this site are probably in San Diego for the comic convention. Good! I'm in the mood to write something really, really off-topic...something that absolutely no artist will want to read! Here goes....
TWO OBSERVATIONS ABOUT ROMANCE
First off, the picture above relates to my second point and has no relation to the kind of romance I'm writing about in this paragraph. Here I'm writing about the Romantic Era which may have started with Rousseau but reached its height in the 19th century. Now the odd thing is that the Romantic movement quickly split in two. It meant something totally different in England than it did on the continent. In England it was primarily a literary movement. It influenced poetry and stories and gave us novels like "Frankenstein." On the continent it was mainly a philosophical movement and it produced anti-Enlightenment philosophers like Nietzche and Mussolini.
English Romanticism favored people like Byron and Colleridge. Continental Romanticism favored Napoleon. Even the people who fought Napoleon openly admired him. He was informed by reason but he was said to have transcended it through his will. Continental literature of the period was full of references to will and the philosophers codified it. I love what the English did with Romanticism; I can't even begin to understand the continental variety.
Here's the second observation about romance. This time I'm talking about romance in the sense of a man and a woman falling in love. My guess is that romance is one of the factors responsible for the concept of human rights and liberty. Lots of institutions give lip service to supporting love and families but I get the feeling that every institution actually feels threatend by them. People who are passionately in love have their own agenda and they're willing to die for it. It's amazing that the medieval troubadors would have sided with this anti-social behavior. Eventually they persuaded society to support lovers at the expense of the weakening of the state. Interesting, huh?
Thanks to Steve Worth for the French postcard. Also, I hope Blogger will publish the paragraphs in type that's all the same size, as it is in the window I'm writing it in.