proto romantic

[literature meme] • 1/3 movements

Sturm und Drang (conventionally translated as “Storm and Stress”) is a proto-Romantic movement in German literature and music taking place from the late 1760s to the early 1780s, in which individual subjectivity and, in particular, extremes of emotion were given free expression in reaction to the perceived constraints of rationalism imposed by the Enlightenment and associated aesthetic movements.

Literature Meme: 1/2 Movements

Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress)

A literary proto-romantic movement born in Germany which took place from the late 1760s to the early 1780s, where individual subjectivity, and, in particular, extremes of emotion were given free expression in reaction to the perceived constrains of rationalism imposed by enlightment and associated aesthetic movements.

The movement takes its name from the homonymous play by Friedrich Maximilian Klinger. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was also part of this movement during his early years during which he composed The Sorrows of young Werther and the unfinished Prometheus.

The thing about aromantic representation in media – or maybe representation’s not the right word, but certainly about making media that doesn’t continue to diminish and erase aromantics – is that it’s not just about making aromantic characters (who aren’t villainous or inhuman), although that’s certainly nice to have. It’s also about not presenting romance as essential to happiness or essential to humanity, and about presenting romance as equal to other types of relationship rather than romance as the peak of emotional intimacy and affection. (Making it clear that there are other kinds of love than romantic love will go a long way.)

A friendship turning romantic is not an upgrade; there’s nothing lesser about friendship. It’s just a change. It might lead to the characters becoming closer and caring more for each other than they previously did, but a switch from friendship to romance is not a prerequisite for this increase in closeness. It’s just different, not better. This is why “they’re too close to be JUST friends” is so aggravating to hear. If you want to convince me that the relationship between two characters is romantic or proto-romantic rather than platonic, come up with an argument for it being qualitatively different, because even The Sims knows that you need to do more than max out your relationship meter to turn a relationship romantic.

It’s not just about having aromantic characters, it’s about having an atmosphere that isn’t hostile to aromantics. Things like the message that you can’t have a close relationship (or a close relationship between non-relatives) without it either eventually turning romantic or being romantic all along, and that romance is something everyone wants or needs even if they aren’t currently pursuing it: these are what make for such a hostile atmosphere.