ROMANTICISM as everyone seems to agree is not easily definable. One way to look at ROMANTICISM's vast array is to look at the emerging "STATE of MIND" or more sophisticated composing consciousness of MODERN PEOPLES. A grappling with this concept of "reality" as well as seeing "reality" as subjective and than really only objective, according to each INDIVIDUAL'S more educated perspective. This issue of "reality" or consciousness became equivalent to suffering; because of our also growing awareness of our limitations and natural inclination to empathy with other human beings. ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER followed FICHTE'S isolation of the "eGo" and continued the argument that the "eGo" had broken away from it's proper status as "one with the undifferentrated whole of existence".
Through this apprehension of "reality" called consciousness and it's suffering, it seeks to overcome this suffering : not through denying it's separate existence and then being re-absorbed into the 'whole' : as in the submissiveness inherent in the Judeo-Christian Ethic ; rather through sensual identifications, as proposed by JOHN LOCKE, and the tenable gratification of the pleasurable or painful desires caused by INDIVIDUATION. As neither of these two really bring satisfaction, the third possibility occurs of the Ego-negation or "SELF-DESTRUCTION" which becomes a combining force between BUDDHIST practices and the arrival at SCHOPENHAUERIAN Philosophy as the EGO-DESTRUCTION is replaced by the emerging elements of the MODERN FINE ARTS : MEDITATIVE DISCONNECTIONS REJOINING WITH A LEARNED ACQUAINTANCE THROUGH CONTEMPORARY ART. SCHOPENHAUER will practice and even glorify his "Disinterested Contemplation" in ART which, through time, strengthens to become more substantial and more real than the fading and even more disinterested aspects of so-called "reality".
William Hazlitt simultaneously wrote his work on "Disinterested Aesthetics" with the striving of the "Will" of the emerging INDIVIDUAL being the suggestion of both of these early theorists just after 1800. In the HEAT of those days as NAPOLEON and the FRENCH antagonism engulfed Europe in death and WAR, coinciding with the ground braking new MODERNIZING of Civilization, with the then creation of the Middle Classes and Industrial Revolution ; Europe needed to Overcome itself as eighty years after Napoleon this theorem will be written out in NIETZSCHE's psychology of the OVERMAN.
In NIETZSCHE's "Birth of Tragedy" he took KANTIAN Skepticism and SCHOPENHAUER's Pessimism; Taking KANT's "impossibility" of rational substantial thought which radicalized KANT's skepticism to any possibility of knowing :: yet opening the door to anything TRANSCENDENTAL and IMAGINATIVE, sustaining the possibilities of a new active S YM B O L I S M. An assertion of a liberating INDIVIDUALITY in the context of Freedom, Newness, and Birthing what could be an exhilarating Pheonix to the Human Condition of TRAGEDY.
This was a NEW START :: though the continued TRAGEDY of even this birthing MODERNISM is and was and continues to be the cavernous riff between our SPIRITUAL and ALL TOO HUMAN desires for growth, substance, value, and IDEAL LIFE in this 'artificial creature' of the MODERN CITY (not to mention the bizarrely artificiality of the VIRTUAL WORLD..upon us now) :: and our binary reality of the 'machinary' of Industrialism, materialism, corruptions, WAR, (Prides and Greeds) and VICE - the easy dripping toxic juice of CAPITALISM to be created from the exploitation of the lowest common denominators of these Cities and the Earth's Raw Materials. Exploiting the rarest Flowers, and turning the most obscure growths into the next $billion miracle product :: cotton, tobacco, opium :: the new Nanorobotics, Steve Job's computer ICONs, .....what's next!?!