Ultra-Romanticism

Ultra-Romanticism (in Portuguese, Ultrarromantismo) was a Portuguese literary movement that took place during the second half of the 19th century and later arrived in Brazil. Aesthetically similar to (but not exactly the same as) the German- and British-originated Dark Romanticism, it was typified by a tendency to exaggerate, at times to a ridiculous degree, the norms and ideals of Romanticism, namely the value of subjectivity, individualism, amorous idealism, nature and the medieval world. The Ultra-Romantics generated literary works of highly contendable quality, some of them being considered as "romance of knife and earthenware bowl", given the succession of bloody crimes that they invariably described, which realists fiercely denounced.

In Portugal, the first Ultra-Romantic piece ever written was the poem "O noivado do sepulcro" ("The tombstone engagement") by António Augusto Soares de Passos, while in Brazil the first major Ultra-Romantic works were the books Lira dos Vinte Anos (Twenty-year-old Lyre) and Noite na Taverna (A Night at the Tavern) by Álvares de Azevedo.

In Brazil, it is called "the second phase of the Brazilian Romanticism", being preceded by the "Indianism" and succeeded by the "Condorism".

General characteristics

  • Creative liberty (the content is more important than the form; grammatical rules often ignored)
  • Free versification
  • Doubt, dualism
  • Constant repugnance, morbidness, suffering, pessimism, Satanism, masochism, cynicism, self-destruction
  • Denial of reality in favour of the world of dreams, fancy and imagination (escapism, evasion)
  • Adolescent disillusion
  • Idealization of love and women
  • Subjectivity, egocentricity
  • Saudosismo (an untranslatable word meaning homesickness or longing) for childhood and the past
  • A preference for the nocturnal
  • Conscience of solitude
  • Death: total and definitive escape from life, an end to suffering; sarcasm, irony

Main adepts

In Portugal

Soaresdepassos
António Augusto Soares de Passos, the first Ultra-Romantic Portuguese poet

In Brazil

Álvares de Azevedo
Álvares de Azevedo is one of the most well-known Ultra-Romantic Brazilian poets, winning the epithet of "the Brazilian Lord Byron"

In Brazil

The "Ultra-Romanticism" changed the ways of the Romanticism in Brazil. Values such as nationalism and valorization of the Indian as the Brazilian national hero, a constant theme of the previous Brazilian Romantic generation, are now almost, if not completely, absent. This new generation, heavily influenced by German Romanticism and works by Lord Byron and Alfred de Musset, among others, now focalizes in obscure and macabre themes, such as pessimism, the supernatural, Satanism, longing for death, past and childhood, and the mal du siècle. Love is heavily idealized, platonic and almost always unrequited, and the presence of a strong egocentrism and exacerbated sentimentalism in the poetry is clearly noticed.

See also

External links

António Augusto Soares de Passos

António Augusto Soares de Passos (27 November 1826 – 8 February 1860), also referred to simply as Soares de Passos, was a Portuguese poet, creator of the "Ultra-Romanticism" in Portugal. Son of merchants and a follower of the Liberal ideas, having learned French and English during his youth, he entered at the University of Coimbra to graduate in Law. There, he met Alexandre Braga, Silva Ferraz and Aires de Gouveia, founding with them, in 1851, the magazine O Novo Trovador (The New Trobadour).

Having already graduated, in 1854, he returned to Porto, collaborating in the poetry journals O Bardo (The Bard) and A Grinalda (The Garland). The only book Passos published during his lifetime was his poetry book Poesias (Poetry), in 1856. The poems mostly speak of death and the wrath of God, all of them with heavy mal du siècle traces.

Having a very tumultuated life, and constantly assailed by diseases, he died in 1860, a victim of tuberculosis.

Aureliano Lessa

Aureliano José Lessa (1828–1861) was a Brazilian poet, adept of the "Ultra-Romanticism" movement. Born in Minas Gerais in 1828, he moved to São Paulo in 1847 to study Law, but received his bacharel degree at the Faculdade de Direito de Olinda, in Pernambuco, in 1851. He worked as attorney general in the city of Ouro Preto, and also as a lawyer in the cities of Diamantina and Serro.

During his stay at São Paulo he met the authors Álvares de Azevedo and Bernardo Guimarães. With them, he planned a volume of poetry called As Três Liras (in English: The Three Lyres), that ended unsuccessful. Along with those and others, he was a member of a club named "Sociedade Epicureia" ("Epicurean Society").

Aureliano only wrote some texts to newspapers of São Paulo and Minas Gerais during his lifetime. His poems were compiled and published posthumously in 1873 by his brother, Francisco José Pedro Lessa, under the name of Poesias Póstumas (in English: Posthumous Poetry).

A heavy drinker, Lessa died in February 21, 1861, because of a lesion in his heart, caused by his alcoholism.

Aureliano was the uncle of Pedro Augusto Carneiro Lessa.

Carl Loewe

Johann Carl Gottfried Loewe (German: [ˈløːvə]; 30 November 1796 – 20 April 1869), usually called Carl Loewe (sometimes seen as Karl Loewe), was a German composer, tenor singer and conductor. In his lifetime, his songs (Lieder) were well enough known for some to call him the "Schubert of North Germany", and Hugo Wolf came to admire his work. He is less known today, but his ballads and songs, which number over 400, are occasionally performed.

Casimiro de Abreu

Casimiro José Marques de Abreu (January 4, 1839 – October 18, 1860) was a Brazilian poet, novelist and playwright, adept of the "Ultra-Romanticism" movement. He is famous for the poem "Meus oito anos".

He is patron of the 6th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

Condorism

Condorism (in Portuguese: Condorismo or Condoreirismo) was a Brazilian literary movement that lasted from the mid-1860s until the early 1880s. It is a subdivision of Brazilian Romanticism, being thus called "the third phase of Brazilian Romanticism", preceded by the Indianism and the Ultra-Romanticism. Condorism was created by the poet Tobias Barreto, who was one of its most significant figures alongside Castro Alves and Pedro Luís Pereira de Sousa.

The name "Condorism" comes from the condor, a bird of solitary and high flight, said to be capable of seeing things from a great distance. Condorist poets believed they had this same ability, and should use it to educate people in the ways of justice and freedom.

Sometimes (albeit very rarely) Condorism is also called Hugoanism (in Portuguese: Hugoanismo), after Victor Hugo, who served as the major Condorist influence.

Daniel Auber

Daniel François Esprit Auber (French: [danjɛl fʁɑ̃swa ɛspʁi obɛːʁ]; 29 January 1782 – 12/13 May 1871) was a French composer.

Dark romanticism

Dark Romanticism is a literary subgenre of Romanticism, reflecting popular fascination with the irrational, the demonic and the grotesque. Often conflated with Gothicism, it has shadowed the euphoric Romantic movement ever since its 18th-century beginnings. Edgar Allan Poe is often celebrated as one of the supreme exponents of the tradition.

Fagundes Varela

Luís Nicolau Fagundes Varela (August 17, 1841 – February 18, 1875) was a Brazilian Romantic poet, adept of the "Ultra-Romanticism" movement. He is patron of the 11th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

Félicien David

Félicien-César David (13 April 1810 – 29 August 1876) was a French composer.

Indianism (arts)

Indianism (in Portuguese: Indianismo) is a Brazilian literary and artistic movement that reached its peak during the first stages of Romanticism, though it had been present in Brazilian literature since the Baroque period.

In Romantic contexts, it is called "the first generation of Brazilian Romanticism", being succeeded by the "Ultra-Romanticism" and the "Condorism".

José Melchor Gomis

José Melchor Gomis y Colomer (6 January 1791 – 4 August 1836) was a Spanish Romantic composer. He was born in 1791 in Ontinyent, Vall d'Albaida, Valencia Province.He was director of music for an artillery regiment during the Napoleonic Wars. An early melodrame by Gomis for voice and orchestra was performed at Valencia in 1817.He wrote the music of the Himno de Riego, named after the rebellious General Riego (1784-1823) and since used as the national anthem by various republican governments of Spain.

Gomis's political views caused him to live in exile after the accession of Ferdinand VII in 1823, in Paris and in London. In both cities he was a friend of his fellow exile the composer Santiago Masarnau, whom he may have introduced to London musical life. In Paris, Gomis wrote a successful singing method, published in 1826 with dedications to Gioacchino Rossini and François-Adrien Boieldieu, and in London his choral work L'inverno was performed in 1827. In 1830 his opera Aben-Humeya was performed in Paris. Gomis's Paris operas Diable à Seville (1831) (staged with the support of Rossini) and Le revenant (1836) gained respectful reviews from Hector Berlioz. Le portefaix, the most successful of his operas, had a libretto by Eugène Scribe (originally offered to the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer).Gomis was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur by King Louis-Philippe. Gomis died in Paris in 1836 of tuberculosis, leaving a number of works unfinished, including the opera Le comte Julien, also to a libretto by Scribe (and eventually set in 1851 by Sigismond Thalberg as Florinda).

José Simões Dias

José Simões Dias (1844 in Benfeita, Arganil – 3 March 1899 in Lisbon) was a Portuguese poet, short-story writer and literary critic, as well as politician and pedagogue. His poetry is generally affiliated with the later Romantic tradition, sometimes termed Ultra-Romanticism, although some of his poems, popular in tone, can be seen to betray an affinity for the Realist aesthetics that was then beginning to blossom in Portuguese letters.As a deputy to the National Assembly under the constitutional monarchy of Luís I, he authored the bill that would transform the birthday of Camões (June 10) into Portugal Day, an important national holiday.

Junqueira Freire

Luís José Junqueira Freire (December 31, 1832 – June 24, 1855) was a Brazilian poet and Benedictine monk, adept of the "Ultra-Romanticism" movement and author of Inspirações do Claustro. He is the patron of the 25th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

Lessa (surname)

The surname Lessa may refer to:

Adriana Lessa

Anderson Lessa

Aureliano Lessa (1828–1861), a Brazilian poet, adept of the "Ultra-romanticism" movement

Elsie Lessa (1912–2000), a Brazilian journalist and writer of American descent

Fernanda Lessa, a Brazilian top model

Ivan Lessa (born 1935), a Brazilian journalist and writer of American descent

Leandro Lessa Azevedo (born 1980), a Brazilian striker

Orígenes Lessa (1903–1986), journalist, short story writer, novelist, and a writer of essays

William A. Lessa

Louise Bertin

Louise-Angélique Bertin (Les Roches, Essonne, 15 January 1805 – Paris, 26 April 1877) was a French composer and poet.Louise Bertin lived her entire life in France. Her father, Louis-François Bertin, and also her brother later on, were the editors of Journal des débats, an influential newspaper. As encouraged by her family, Bertin pursued music. She received lessons from François-Joseph Fétis, who directed a private family performance of Guy Mannering, Bertin's first opera, in 1825. This opera, never formally produced, took its story line from the book of the same name, written by Sir Walter Scott. Two years later, Bertin's second opera, Le Loup-garou, was produced at the Opéra-Comique.

At the age of 21, Bertin began working on an opera semiseria, Fausto to her own libretto in Italian, based on Goethe's Faust, a subject "almost certainly suggested" by her father. A performance of the completed opera was scheduled for 1830. However, due to many unforeseen complications, Fausto did not actually reach the stage until a full year later. It was not well received and only saw three performances.

Shortly before this, Bertin became friends with Victor Hugo. Hugo himself had sketched out an operatic version of his book Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and between the two of them, the opera La Esmeralda was born, Hugo providing the libretto. Bertin was the only composer to have collaborated directly with Hugo on an opera. However, as the opera’s run began in 1836, there were accusations against Bertin and her family, claiming she had special privileges due to her brother Armand's connection to the government's opera administration. During the seventh performance, a riot ensued and the run of La Esmeralda was forced to end, though a version of the opera continued to be performed over the next three years. The composer Hector Berlioz, who helped Bertin with the staging and production of La Esmeralda, was also accused of providing the better music of this work, a charge he vehemently denied. In frustration, Bertin refused to write any more operas. In 1837, Franz Liszt transcribed the orchestral score for solo piano (S.476), and made a piano transcription of the "Air chanté par Massol" (S.477).

Bertin did however continue to compose in many different genres. Her later compositions include twelve cantatas, six piano ballades, five chamber symphonies, a few string quartets, a piano trio (which includes themes from both her early Fausto and La Esmeralda), and many vocal selections. Of these, only the ballades and the trio were published.

Bertin also wrote and published two volumes of poetry, Les Glanes in 1842 and Nouvelles Glanes in 1876. The former of these received a prize from the Académie française. Bertin died the year after the publication of Nouvelles Glanes.

Orest Kiprensky

Orest Adamovich Kiprensky (Russian: Орест Адамович Кипренский 24 March [O.S. 13 March] 1782-17 October [O.S. 5 October] 1836) was a leading Russian portraitist in the Age of Romanticism. His most familiar work is probably his portrait of Alexander Pushkin (1827), which prompted the poet to remark that "the mirror flatters me".

Pedro de Calasans

Pedro Luziense de Bittencourt Calasans (January 29, 1837 – February 24, 1874) was a Brazilian poet, playwright and journalist, adept of the "Ultra-Romanticism" movement.

Romanticism

Romanticism (also known as the Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical. It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific rationalization of nature—all components of modernity. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. It had a significant and complex effect on politics, with romantic thinkers influencing liberalism, radicalism, conservatism and nationalism.The movement emphasized intense emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as apprehension, horror and terror, and awe—especially that experienced in confronting the new aesthetic categories of the sublimity and beauty of nature. It elevated folk art and ancient custom to something noble, but also spontaneity as a desirable characteristic (as in the musical impromptu). In contrast to the Rationalism and Classicism of the Enlightenment, Romanticism revived medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived as authentically medieval in an attempt to escape population growth, early urban sprawl, and industrialism.

Although the movement was rooted in the German Sturm und Drang movement, which preferred intuition and emotion to the rationalism of the Enlightenment, the events and ideologies of the French Revolution were also proximate factors. Romanticism assigned a high value to the achievements of "heroic" individualists and artists, whose examples, it maintained, would raise the quality of society. It also promoted the individual imagination as a critical authority allowed of freedom from classical notions of form in art. There was a strong recourse to historical and natural inevitability, a Zeitgeist, in the representation of its ideas. In the second half of the 19th century, Realism was offered as a polar opposite to Romanticism. The decline of Romanticism during this time was associated with multiple processes, including social and political changes and the spread of nationalism.

Álvares de Azevedo

Manuel Antônio Álvares de Azevedo (September 12, 1831 – April 25, 1852), affectionately called "Maneco" by his close friends, relatives and admirers, was a Brazilian Romantic poet, short story writer, playwright and essayist, considered to be one of the major exponents of Ultra-Romanticism and Gothic literature in Brazil. His works tend to play heavily with opposite notions, such as love and death, platonism and sarcasm, sentimentalism and pessimism, among others, and have a strong influence of Musset, Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Goethe and – above all – Byron.

All of his works were published posthumously due to his premature death with only 20 years old after a horse-riding accident. They acquired a strong cult following as years went by, particularly among youths of the goth subculture.

He is the patron of the second chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, and of the ninth chair of the Paulista Academy of Letters.

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