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, "
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What does it mean when John gives Mary flowers? For more than a dozen years, I taught an introductory literature course to 60 or so first-year undergraduates, 80% of whom were young women--a number of whom would typically report being interested in questions of love and romance. Every year in the first class I described the following scenario and asked the class what word they would use to describe this young man’s actions. John’s eyes always light up when Mary enters the room. He always talks in a tender, flattering manner to her. He takes her out to dinner, and buys her flowers and small gifts. Etc. Etc. What is the verb for when a man pursues a woman? As I presented this hypothetical heterosexual scenario, I could feel Judith Butler and the gender police breathing down my neck, but bear with me. So what do we call what John is doing? Over the years I noticed a shifting in the tenor of the answers. The typical mid-90s answer was that he “was cruising,” “on the mak