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Symbolism Essay | Critical Essay #5

This Study Guide consists of approximately 57 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Symbolism.
This section contains 7,835 words
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Critical Essay #5

In the following essay, Wellek explores the idea of Symbolism as a literary period encompassing much post-Realism Western literature, and focuses on developing an accurate system of definition for it.

The term and concept of symbolism (and symbol) is so vast a topic that it cannot even be sketched within the limits of this paper. The word goes back to ancient Greece and, there, had a complex history which has not, I suspect, been traced adequately in the only history of the term, Max Schlesinger's Geschichte des Symbols, published in 1912.

What I want to discuss is something much more specific: not even symbol and symbolism in literature but the term and concept of symbolism as a period in literary history. It can, I suggest, be conveniently used as a general term for the literature in all Western countries following the decline of nineteenth-century realism and naturalism and preceding...

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This section contains 7,835 words
(approx. 27 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Symbolism Study Guide
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Symbolism from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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