To give up on the naïveté of romanticism would be to give up on a form of resistance to what Wallace Stevens calls ‘the pressure of reality’. It would lead to the complete privatization of literature and all artistic production; it would be the end of philosophy understood as the imaginative effort to link the public and the private; it would lead to the total bureaucratization or professionalization of politics and the banalization of everyday life. To say the very least, such is the risk of the contemporary situation, where we are living through what Stevens called ‘a leaden time’, what Heidegger called ‘a time of dearth’ and Wittgenstein called ‘the dearth and darkness of this time’. Romantic naïveté is the resistance of the philosophical, poetic and political imagination to our somewhat chastening contemporary circumstances. Knowing itself to be naïve, romanticism is still, I believe, the most plausible response to nihilism. Romantic naïveté is the consciousness of the tranquilized bustle and the anemic pallor of everyday life, and the attempt to resist the disenchantment of the everyday with the violence of the imagination — imagination au pouvoir!
~ Simon Critchley, Very Little, Almost Nothing