Dark Romanticism, also called American Romanticism, is a subgenre of literature that arose in reaction to Transcendentalism. Dark Romanticism involves sin, self-destruction, and often supernatural forces.
G.R. Thompson describes the movement as follows:
“Fallen man’s inability fully to comprehend haunting reminders of another, supernatural realm that yet seemed not to exist, the constant perplexity of inexplicable and vastly metaphysical phenomena, a propensity for seemingly perverse or evil moral choices that had no firm or fixed measure or rule, and a sense of nameless guilt combined with a suspicion the external world was a delusive projection of the mind—these were major elements in the vision of man the Dark Romantics opposed to the mainstream of Romantic thought.”
Notable writers include Edgar Allen Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Herman Melville.