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The Symbolists


Talking about Rimbaud in two different fora, Right Words & The Poetry Spectrum has got me reflecting on all the so-called Symbolists of the late 19th C. and working into the 20th. The movement started out among poets taking from Baudelaire's lead and incited by the tales and poetry of Edgar Allen Poe. It quickly spread to the other arts. The theater, music, and painting. Starting out in France, it as quickly went international, and on both sides of the Atlantic. There is also a kindredness between the Symbolists, in painting especially, and the contemporaneous Pre-Raphaelites of Britain. The course, speed, and saturation of the movement's spread is nothing short of extraordinary. It could almost be characterized as a tent revival in religious fervor. There were many, many different takes, responses to the movement's principals. There is, however, one comprehension all those who worked with Symbolist means had in common, something they took from Baudelaire's famous Correspondances poem. Below, behind, or inside the surfaces of reality, the phenomenal, there is a deeper reality, the numinous. Every time our board member, Libramoon, puts out another issue of her ezine, Emerging Visions, I am put in mind of the Symbolists perspective. Suggesting that the perspective carries on, at least in some quarters.

I cannot find a single, comprehensive link on the subject. I have this one incredible book I wish I could somehow link to. They are all there, the artists, poets, writers, composers. Every one of them. The Concise Encyclopedia of Symbolism by Jean Cassou. But here is an intro to the painting.

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Tere
Sep/1/2011, 4:20 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Re: The Symbolists


Some individual examples selected from my encyclopedia and chosen to show a certain range of affect.

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I just remembered recently reading an essay in art criticism by the novelist and poet, John Updike. He severely panned the painters working in the Symbolist way. Self-indulgent, narcissistic, decadent in the pejorative sense. It occurred to me that something I've long suspected about him is true. Just another Classicist, the same kind of Parnassian, in fact, the Symbolists revolted against.

Tere
Sep/1/2011, 5:39 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 


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