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.