Symbolism Criticism

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Critical response to the development of Symbolism was itself an important contribution to the symbolist movement, as many of the literary critics and leading theorists of Symbolism were themselves symbolist writers. These critics contributed to the shaping, definition, and dissemination of the movement. A discussion of critical responses to Symbolism is thus also a historical narrative of the development of the movement.

If Mallarmé, Verlaine, and Rimbaud are the fathers of Symbolism, Baudelaire may be considered the grandfather. Baudelaire's first major publication was met with public controversy as well as critical acclaim. His poetry volume Flowers of Evil, the seminal text of the symbolist movement, was first published amidst great controversy. Of the one hundred poems in the first edition, thirteen were singled out by a government agency as violations of laws of decency and religious morality. These thirteen poems were judged in a court of law...

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This section contains 724 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Symbolism Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Symbolism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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