“Satire is people as they are; romanticism, people as they would like to be; realism, people as they seem with their insides left out.” Dawn Powell
“…Romanticism is people as they would like to be….” to add, romanticism is people as others would like them to be, events as people would like them to be, things as people would like them to be.
In the end, the people, event, and thing never are what it is wished to be. So why do we romanticize all of them as such? Maybe we should blame our creativity? Our endless imagination which can dive into whichever abyss it desires to get lost in…usually triggered by what the heart wants to feel.
Maybe we should blame music and movies, which give the impression to be written just for us. From music lyrics that invade our mental state and flirt with our feelings, to film’s happy or heartbreak endings, fit to validate our mood.
Besides people and things, we also romanticize our past. To bring realism to light, hindsight is 20/20 with a slight case of amnesia. Enter romanticism and we romanticize our past based on how we feel about our present. Lack of contentment can send a person lurking in the past, romanticizing the loneliest days as one of their best; romanticizing a love that evaporated to the love that got away; romanticizing sleepless exhausting nights with a crying baby as sleepless nights of bonding with the new love of their life.
It is a cruel game, this game of romanticism. Even more cruel is if we give into it and assume romanticism as satire (or as people, events, things as they are), only to realize that romanticism took advantage of our naïvety and pulled us in and spit us out with the disappointments of failed expectations.
But, there is beauty in the intoxication of romanticism. This beauty lives in the inspiration it gives us, the inspiration to create. That love, that person, that event, that past, we romanticize and we create beautiful music, beautiful paintings, beautiful poems…beautiful art. Romanticism LIVES in art…no matter the satire.