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What Is "Romantic Irony"?

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Schlegel coined the term
These days, the concept of "romantic irony" is particularly difficult to grasp for a number of reasons.  In the first place, the phrase was coined by Friedrich Schlegel, the German romanticist, who was vague and aphoristic in defining the concept. The Meaning of "romantic"
Additionally, what Schlegel meant by "romantic" is a subject of debate.  According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:What Schlegel meant by the term “romantic” and its apparent cognate "Roman" (usually translated as “novel,” but having among the Romantics a much wider sense) has long been disputed. [ . . .], Schlegel saw the historical origins of “the romantic” in the wide mixture of forms and genres that characterized medieval literature and took it as the point of departure for a genre-transcending notion that allows even Shakespeare's plays or Dante's Commedia to be Romane. Romantic Irony
From a present-day perspective, "romant…

After “the Death of the Author” It Only Takes 39 Words to End an Academic Career

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39 Words versus curing cancer It only takes 39 words to end an academic career even if you are a Nobel laureate in physiology . . . or maybe it’s because you are a Nobel laureate.  The sexist comments of the average smuck don’t go viral on Twitter.
I can’t help imagining some futuristic Wikipedia article on “the cure of cancer.”  It would go something like this: “Professor Tim Hunt’s work on cell division proved instrumental in developing the cure for cancer, however he became notorious and his career was ended in 2015 for his off-the-cuff remarks on women in science at a conference in Korea.”
The 39 words in question According to The Guardian these are the 39 words which Professor Hunt uttered:
“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab. You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them, they cry.”  
The Danger of irony His wife, Professor Mary Collins, an immunologist, concurs with most of the critical com…

The Sour Glossary

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actually (adverb) as an actual or existing fact; really. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary) [False cognate warning: Francophones will sometimes mistakenly use “actually” (or actual) 
when they mean currently, presently, at the moment and up to date.]
allegory [. . .] symbolic fictional narrative that conveys a second meaning (or meanings) beyond the explicit, literal details of the story (my definition, adapted from Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature). A simple allegory would be something like a story about Mary Whiteteeth and Johnny Toothbrush and their enemy named Sugar. The story, in this case, is not about these three characters but about the importance of brushing your teeth. "[. . .] the term allegory can refer to specific method of reading a text."
allusion (noun) IIn literature, an implied or indirect reference to a person, event, thing or a part of another text. [. . . ] Allusions to biblical figures and figures from classical mythology are common in Western…