The Quotable Morse Peckham
On Literature, Life, and Beyond


"The importance of the Romanticism of the early 19th century is that a few innovative Romantics discovered and established within Western culture the basic behavior pattern of cultural transcendence. This arises form the judgment of explanatory collapse (the failure of ideologies), alienation from the culture and the society's institutions, cultural vandalism, social withdrawal, reducing the interaction rate to the minimum, randomizing behavior, selecting a promising emergent innovation, collecting a little group of supporters, and propagandizing the cultural[ly] emergent or innovation or 'creativity.' The Romantic emergent innovation or cultural transcendence was a deconversion from hypostatized redemptionism; that deconversion led to a conversion into permanent de-conversion."
["Introduction," in Romanticism and Ideology (Greenwood, FL: The Penkevill Publishing Company, 1985), 8.]