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The Intimate Portrait: drawings, miniatures and pastels from Ramsay to Lawrence

Another exhibition, this time at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, chronicles one hundred years (1730-1830) of "intimate portraits," including portraits of Walter Scott and Robert Burns.

Sir Thomas Lawrence, Portrait of Mary Hamilton, 1789
This exhibition explores a fascinating but relatively unknown type of portraiture that flourished in Georgian and Regency Britain between the 1730s and 1830s.

It features intimate portraits by Thomas Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds, John Downman, Richard Cosway, David Wilkie and many others, all drawn from the collections of the National Galleries of Scotland and the British Museum, many never exhibited before.

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Poets on Poets: new podcasts

New audio files are available at Romantic Circles' Poets on Poets series: Andrew Kozma reading Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" Part IV; Jennifer Kwon Dobbs reading Charlotte Turner Smiths's "Sonnet LXX" and "Sonnet LXXVII" [from Elegiac Sonnets]; Elizabeth Volpe reading William Blake's "The Human Abstract"; and Anne Shaw reading Blake's "The Tyger." As always, you can play or download the MP3 files directly from the Poets on Poets page--

http://www.rc.umd.edu/editions/poets/toc.html

--or subscribe to the podcasts via iTunes (search for "Romantic Circles") or directly from our page.

The Poets on Poets series is edited and produced by Tilar Mazzeo with the assistance of Doug Guerra and Matt O'Donnell.

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Some green thoughts in a green shade, finally

The invitation to do this blog made me discover several things. One—I love blogging! Two—how great to discuss things with others in slow motion, with careful reading and quiet writing, from the comfort of my introverted indoor space. Kurt and Ash, Ron and Steve, and our readers and commenters, thank you all so much.

Another thing I learnt, as I struggled with blogging form: We owe it to non-humanities people to express our ideas in a way with which they can engage.

Ecological criticism is one mode in which we can do this, easily.

That doesn't mean dumbing down our arguments. It simply means being able to say them in a language that isn't an insider discourse. I very nearly said "jargon"—yikes!

I'm averse to "the jargon of authenticity." Ecocriticism is full of it. I want to make it safe to think ecology and think theory together, simultaneously.

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Last Entry

I’m sitting here recalling my conversation last night with an old friend about our many hikes in Washington State’s wilderness areas and national forests--set aside by legislation for their environmental value, including for hikers like us.

Thoreau and Urbanature: a Final Thought

"Wildness" much more than "wilderness" was the key concept sought by America's greatest Romantic "nature" writer. His goal was psychological as much as it was ecological. Seen in this light, the activity of the human mind always has powerful consequences in our treatment of the nonhuman world. Thoreau's life in nature, like yours or mine, is entirely a function of the actions and reactions of his mind. What he chooses to describe has more to do with his own thinking and the desires of his heart than with any objective state of affairs in the external world. He does not want us to go live in the wilderness so much as he wants each of us to wild our own minds, to turn away from society toward the wildness that is within us. The result of such wilding will be a closer link between the human and the nonhuman worlds.

The nature of the economy

Luckily this is all going down in an election year.

We the people are figuring out that we, the people are—the people.

Not just little individuals in our cul de sacs with big old govt. intruding and doing it wrong, and/or protecting our nation (whatever that is). No: we are the nation.

We have the power. We hold the purse strings.

It's our choice what we want to see on Wall St. and it's our choice to pay, and how to pay.

"The economy" has suddenly ceased being this weird thing happening "over there" like a mountain range.

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