Representative Works from Symbolism

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The Afternoon of a Faun

The Afternoon of a Faun, published by Mallarmé in 1876, is one of the greatest works of symbolist verse. It explores the relationship between the real world and an idealized spiritual world of perfection and beauty. It also deals with sensuality, passion, and physical sensation and how they attain significance through meditation and introspection.

Flowers of Evil

Flowers of Evil, by Baudelaire, was the primary literary inspiration for the symbolist poets, and remains one of the most celebrated works of nineteenth- century French verse. The poems embody the central ideals of Symbolism. Although Baudelaire himself was a precursor to the symbolist movement, Flowers of Evil is considered a major work of symbolist poetry. The first edition of 100 poems was published in 1857. A second edition in 1861 was expanded to include 126 poems. This 1861 edition is divided into six sections: "Spleen et Ideal" ("Spleen and the...

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This section contains 923 words
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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.