Westerneuropean epistolary journalism in the late XVIII th and the beginning of the XIX th centuries and its role in Romanticism formation

Keywords: epistolary journalism, controversy, tromantism, letter.


Romanticism appearance was accompanied by extraordinarily «stormy self-affirmation» (as N. Kopystianska), that could not affect genre system of this literary direction. As a result, in time of Romanticism in Europe general substantial development of publicism could be seen, in particular epistolary publicism. Letters that were often intentionally published on the pages of the periodicals and therefore addressed to a wide, target audience became a kind of weapons in the struggle among the classics and the Romanticism. Such methods were extremely operative in the controversy among the classics and the romantics, they were mass, high-precision and murderous, taking the expediency of romantic irony and free (in fact, permissive) genre of writing into consideration. Among the epistolary journalism of the Romantics we can find open letters addressed to the real addressee, but there were also letters in which the addressee and the addressee were absolutely conventional. At the same time the authors tried to use a variety of hoaxes. As a result they created a wide variety of fiction letters, which entirely cooperated with the romantic theory. For example G. Kleist used the genre of letter with polemical purpose. In his «Letter of Young Poet to Young Artist», he opposed the old classicist school in an accessible way opposes and substantiates romantic principles of absolute freedom of creativity personality, which should prevail in art. In «Letter of Young Poet to Young Artist» G. Kleist opposes the classic principle of imitation. The German Romantic writer H. Heine repeatedly referred to the letter genre, in particular in his letters «About the French Stage» he sought to present his vision of the French theater art, and at the same time, his views of romantic art. The use of the epistle characterizes creative work of the French romantic A. de Vigny, who began the struggle for a new (romantic) drama in the late 20-ies of the XIX century. It is said in «The Letter to the Lord ***. About the opening night that took place on October 29, 1829, and about the dramatic system».
Working on the theoretical substantiation of Romanticism, Italian romantic D. Bershe also addressed the form of the letter in his work («The Half Serious Letter from Slatoust to Son»). The Italian writer A. Mandzoni joined this discussion and took Romantics side in his «Letter to Mr. SH. about the time unity and place».


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Author Biography

Oksana Svyrydenko, Pereiaslav-Khmelnytsky Hryhorii Skovoroda State Pedagogical University

Doctor of Philological Sciences,
Assistant Professor

How to Cite
Svyrydenko, O. (2020). Westerneuropean epistolary journalism in the late XVIII th and the beginning of the XIX th centuries and its role in Romanticism formation. Theoretical and Didactic Philology, (32), 125-132. Retrieved from https://tdp-journal.com/index.php/journal/article/view/191