Nature and Love in the Late Middle Ages

Nature and Love in the Late Middle Ages

Nature and Love in the Late Middle Ages

Nature and Love in the Late Middle Ages

Excerpt

Cursed be the social wants that sin against the strength of
youth!

Cursed be the social lies that warp us from the living truth!

Cursed be the sickly forms that err from honest Nature's rule!

Lord Tennyson, Locksley Hall

Certain terms of literary parlance, such as Classic, Gothic, Baroque, Romantic, draw their validity from a historical context. Their most legitimate use is and should remain historical, that is, with reference to movements, forms or patterns more or less clearly delimited by time and space. Other terms have both a philosophical and a historical denotation; such are 'realistic' and 'naturalistic.' In literary history we technically designate as realism, first, the novel of Balzac and the movement it represented and, partly, originated. Similarly, we call naturalism Zola's school and its ramifications throughout the Western world. But philosophically speaking, the term "naturalism" has a broader, though vaguer, meaning. In this study I am not concerned with Zola's brand of naturalism: I

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