Symbolism Essay

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During the early twentieth century many writers, influenced by the French symbolists, tried their hands at prose poetry. Following the lead of Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Mallarmé, the later French symbolist writers Paul Valéry, Paul Fort, and Paul Claudel composed notable prose poems. Important writers outside of France, such as Franz Kafka, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and Sherwood Anderson, are also recognized for their outstanding prose poetry.

However, the prose poem throughout most of the twentieth century remained a relatively unpopular form among most readers and critics, as well as most writers. Thus, while the free verse poem, invented by the symbolists, became the dominant form of poetry throughout the twentieth century, the modern prose poem, also developed by the symbolists, was, until recently, relegated to a relatively obscure place in twentieth-century literature. The very form of the prose poem was not taken seriously by the...

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This section contains 613 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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