The New Romanticists

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The New Romanticists

Choi Chi-won, a Confucius scholar of the Shilla Dynasty, explained that refinement includes all contexts of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. He said it is a profound concept that touches not only humans but everything in our world.

During Korea's early history, men of taste, who lived their lives in a strong bond with everything else on earth, were called Hwarang. They enjoyed singing and dancing with each other and learned how to enjoy their lives by visiting mountains and rivers. They tried to escape the reality of life's necessities, such as food, clothing and shelter, and to break free from the chains of social conventions. They attempted to enrich their lives by becoming acquainted with art and nature. The attitude of enjoying refinement continues in our society today.

On Monday, in five major cities around the world, including Washington, D.C., and Tokyo, press conferences were held to announce the first in depth analysis of the human genome. We have finally entered an era in which we can completely decode the instructions that determine who we are as human beings and influence our biological destiny. Ironically, on Tuesday, a group of people in art and culture launched `Romanticists' Club` in Korea to make our world more enjoyable. In this advanced period, they, crying out for romanticism.

Romanticism describes an intellectual movement that influenced literature, painting, music, architecture, and many other fields of Western civilization from the late 18th to the mid-19th century. It started in England after the industrial revolution and spread throughout Europe and the United States in the mid 19th century. Romanticism can be seen as a rejection of the precepts of reasoning, intelligence and rationality that typified Classicism in general and late 18th-century Neoclassicism in particular. Romanticism, which places a larger stake in human nature and tries to share spiritual rapport with the rest of the world, certainly has something in common with our tradition of trying to accomplish spiritual refinement. Because of its characteristics of irregularity, nonsystematic character and evasiveness towards reality, Romanticism was taken over later by Realism.

The new `Romanticists' Club,` set forth a rule that the members would not weigh potential gains when making everyday decisions. In a sense, their rules make us realize that calculating self-interests has made our world more difficult to live, more difficult to enjoy. Romanticism, refinement and taste are the natural tendencies for human beings. It is regretful - but also encouraging - that we live in a time that a special movement must be organized to trigger a quest for a better life.
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