Abstract

Introduction: Too Much, Too Little: Of Brevity

What might romantic minimality and brevity suggest as alternative additions to our critical vocabulary in romantic studies? How do they allow us to think differently—and briefly—about a constellation of questions and perspectives that throw into relief the necessity to think through the small, negligent, obscure, too little or too much, the ephemeral, the mere there is, the all but not there? The authors of the position papers collected for this issue were each asked to respond to just these kinds of prompts, and to keep their arguments operatively brief. Conciseness and intensification in service of our theme of brevity and minimality was the order of the day. The space between stanzas, like the disappearance of a ruin into history, became equal considerations for reflecting on the brevity of things that the larger “life” of romanticism cannot ever ignore.