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Dark romanticism

I never saw it stated that way. I wonder why I didn't come across this subgenre in my English studies. Perhaps it's just a pattern people have picked out now based on current thought. A smattering of dark books can be found in any genre, and yet these are the several American writers of chief importance to me. I don't know who Ugo Foscolo is. He looks like someone who would have hung out with the Shelleys though, not the American Romantics.

I'm not so much interested in American gothic work right now, even though I am reading The Blithedale Romance. I am still obsessed with the Shelleys. They have a little world in my mind where I can go sometimes. I've built a crazed fantasy around the early English Romantics. I think intensely on what they did on a daily basis, what they wore and even what they ate. My dream is to map out and tour Italy in the order they did.

I want to see the places in Greece that inspired Mary Shelley's scenes in The Last Man. The place where the last man wanders along the beach, I want to wander there. Where Perdita is buried beside her ill-fated husband a couple hundred years from now... ago.

I want to sit where he sat. I want to walk where she walked. I want to write what she wrote as she wrote it with no clear boundary between Mary Shelley and Amanda Monteleone. I have never said it before, but I have often thought, half-ashamed at my presumption, that the chief goal of my life could not be higher than to serve as an appendage of her literary ideas, hefting them from the past further into the future with the two hundred-odd difference in years. And I have known it since... high school, when I wrote paper after paper on Frankenstein, and twelve years forward in time, I have accomplished my own Frankenstein novel, and am really pleased with it.

What are we as writers if we live by someone else's idea? A puppet on a string? But I see in her ideas so well-formed I will save myself years and decades to study her work rather than tiresomely pursue my own vision, which I see as a crude and unfashioned idea which will be at some point identical to hers.

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