Romantics are out of place. There is nothing to be done for them. They are not hopeless, just mad. Hallmark, everyday romantics are not in the running. They do not count. The real romantics are the equivalent of the early Christian martyrs. They know they are bound to die. And that is an acceptable situation. True romantics would rather die than renounce their faith in their special insanity. So die they do, by the numbers, one might suspect.
There is trouble with them; it comes off them like a fog. It is a fine and subtle disease, and once you have caught it… Well, let’s say this: one cannot catch it, because one already has it. The romantic is born with this exquisite sickness, and must live a life in which that sickness fogs, then illuminates life, by turns.
It is a nostalgic longing for something never before experienced, which should, then, be a lie. But it is not a lie, not a bit of it. It is the very essence of romanticism (if we can call it an ism at all), which is a deep impulse, a killing longing for something transcendent and at the same time sensual, sexual, demanding, hungry. It is the transcendent rooted in the fevered now of desire; an almost impossible combination. And yet we continue to live for it, to love it, to become drunken, misshapen, feckless, hopeless, musical, suicidal, prayerful, for a taste of its reification, in which it dies.
Romanticism, though not an ism, is a highly political, but subterranean state of being. The romantic lives for the realization of deep love married to deep loss. The romantic acknowledges the almost, imperceptible, finality of loss and failure as it encroaches on every breath. The romantic continues to breathe and live for the impossible despite the facts, the sickness, the palpable death and abusive absurdity of living in human society. And it is political by making politics vanish altogether from the equation. As such, it is anarchic.
The romantic craves the society which kills the possibility of realizing such magnificent, suiciding, desire; because it is only in the society of other humans that this romanticism becomes possible, and at the same time virtually impossible. It lives through, is nourished by, nothing else but the devouring desire of another partner romantic. Is that its root then? To be an inherent, tragic contradiction? A pairing of annihilating realities?
Romance desires transcendence on the superhuman scale, but is forced to live it out in human, all-too-human pettiness. This is the root, the very key to romanticism. It must love passionately, and die in so doing. It can never realize what it so desires. It is a kiss suspended, a sexual coupling given beautiful flesh but bound, almost sundered, by the anatomical mechanics of lust in motion. In this, the deepest of inter-human knowing, the romantic wants sex to be a prayer. And since so few know how to wed prayer and fuck, then we fail; and the romantic celebrates that failure by dying, through martyrdom to this, our first psycho-biological failure. That first failure is the effort to render the primal ooze lyrical, idyllic and palpably beautiful.
The romantic cannot do so, in much the same way that it cannot render the mundane battleground and furniture of petty life into something akin to prayer and orgasm. They seem forever separate, and it is that failure inherent between the human individual and the societal cipher, which romanticism always laments, and rises up to solve by the alchemy of sex, death and eternal hunger.