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Arthur Symons (1865 - 1945)

Lifespan: 1865 - 1945

Related: poetry - Symbolist literature - Symbolist movement

"Born under the influence of passionate and perverse stars, my life has been utterly unlike that of any man I have ever known." - Arthur Symons


Arthur William Symons (February 28, 1865 - January 22, 1945), was a British poet and critic. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Symons [Jun 2006]

The Symbolist Movement in Literature (1899) - Arthur Symons

The Symbolist Movement in Literature (1899) - Arthur Symons [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Without symbolism there can be no literature; indeed, not even language. Words themselves are symbols. Symbolism began with the first words uttered by the first man as he named every living thing. In a symbol there is concealment, yet revelation. All of these have greatly contributed to our understanding of symbolism. Contents: Gerard de Nerval; Villiers de L'isle Adam; Arthur Rimbaud; Paul Verlaine; Jules Laforgue; Stephane Mallarme; The Later Huysmans; Maeterlinck as a Mystic. Essays by: Balzac; Prosper Merimee; Theophile Gautier; Gustave Flaubert; Charles Baudelaire; Edmond and Jules de Goncourt; Leon Cladel; A Note on Zola's Method.

During its peak in England, Decadence had become almost synonymous with Symbolist writing. Symons's book The Symbolist Movement in Literature (1899) had originally been advertised as The Decadent Movement in Literature. He had also published an essay entitled "The Decadent Movement in Literature" in Harper's New Monthly Magazine in 1893. --http://www.glbtq.com/literature/decadence,5.html [Jun 2006]

Symons on Huysmans' style
Barbaric in its profusion, violent in its emphasis, wearying in its splendor, it is - especially in regard to things seen - extraordinarily expressive, with all the shades of a painter's palette. Elaborately and deliberately perverse, it is in its very perversity that Huysmans' work - so fascinating, so repellent, so instinctively artificial - comes to represent, as the work of no other writer can be said to do, the main tendencies, the chief results, of the Decadent movement in literature. (Arthur Symons, "The Decadent Movement in Literature", 1993)

See also: 1899 - Symbolist literature

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