Warmth is Cool

Many aspects of life could perhaps be divided into classicism versus romanticism, says Dalrymple, writing at The New English Review. While he certainly identifies more with the rationalism of a David Hume or an Alexander Pope, Dalrymple also sees the need for the intuition and passion of a John Keats and wonders what the right balance between the two is.

Clearly Hume would be more in favour of classicism than of romanticism, and on the whole I am with him there. But virtues, aesthetic as well as moral, turn into vices when pushed too far; classicism can become dry, formalistic, and deadening if it is permitted to go on for too long, while romanticism, called into being as a revolt against it, can become in time posturing, insincere and hectoring. Clearly there is a need for both, but what is the happy medium between them? Can it actually exist?

You know the answer.

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