Revolutionary Romanticism draws on almost two centuries of intertwined traditions of cultural and political subversion. In this rich collection of writings by artists, scholars, and revolutionaries, the transgressions of the past are recaptured and transvalued for the benefit of the struggles of today and tomorrow.
Along the way, new light is shed on the radical sensibilities of Novalis, Friedrich Hölderlin, and Friedrich Schlegel and the profoundly oppositional poetics of Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, Lord Byron, and William Blake. The social romanticism of Jules Michelet is acclaimed for its visionary, quasi-religious breadth. The Paris Commune is figured by Karl Marx, Jules Vallès, and Arthur Rimbaud. All-but-forgotten episodes of German expressionism and anarchism are recalled. The romantic outlook of Walter Benjamin and Herbert Marcuse is relocated in their absolute negation of the social order. Surrealism, "the prehensile tail of romanticism," is followed to Haiti where it catalyzes revolt. And, at the end of the twentieth century, Guy Debord and the Situationist International provide the passionate détournement of the romantic project.
"Drunk Boat is a courageous and worth effort to maintain alive, in a difficult period, unfettered critical thinking. It ought to be supported by all who care about freedom and justice." —Cornelius Castoriadis, author of The Imaginary Institution of Society
"In a period when politics is dreary and political art clichéd, Drunken Boat is brilliantly alive and unconventional. It summons up a world where subversion spelled art and art spelled liberation; but Drunken Boat is more than a blast from the past: it speaks to the present. Drunken Boat is the vessel of choice for these bored with chartered cruises and organized day-trips." —Russell Jacoby, author of The Last Intellectuals
". . . an illuminating collection of essays that surveys the evolution–and common threads–of romantic political thought over the last 200 years." —San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Provides a readable, comprehensive history of 'a continued Vision' at odds with an empirical world." —Austin Chronicle