AA, XX and NN gather to talk.
AA. According to the official guides, our best view of the Romantic ranges extending across the great divide of 1800 will be found in 1798, or perhaps the immediately adjacent 1800: from that splendid overlook called Lyrical Ballads. It's a picturesque and (historically) important locale.
Equally arresting, however, is that more remote point known as Songs of Innocence and of Experience ( 1794). A favorite now of many, this vantage was scarcely known or frequented until the Pre- Raphaelites popularized it in their late-nineteenth-century aesthetic adventures.
Neither of these now famous spots of time will lose its hold upon the imagination. We may start a long, an interesting, and a reasonably thorough exploration of Romanticism and its majestic adjacencies from both places, as many have already shown.
"spots of time": A key Romantic concept, formulated by Wordsworth in his Prelude project. Wordsworth's idea is that experience yields certain sacred moments that preserve a restorative power through one's later life. Such moments often come without one's realizing their importance at the time of their occurrence. Memory clarifies their significance. These moments testify to the invisible but permanent presence of a benevelent Spirit in the universe. See Prelude ( 1850) Book II.208-286.
Traditional and favorite routes are, however, just that--traditional and favored. This particular world of the sublime and the beautiful is so extensive and complex that we may enter it, or move about its regions, in an endless variety of ways.
For instance, on the way to Lyrical Ballads we will inevitably skirt another spot that provides, in its fashion, an even more magnificent