Symbolism is a literary tendency of poetry and other arts that arose in the late nineteenth century in France, and was opposed to Realism, Naturalism and also to the positivism of the time. The last two decades of the nineteenth century observed at all levels of knowledge, a strong reaction against the scientific spirit, materialistic, mechanistic and positivist determinism.
Reversing the dominant trend, science until then owner of truth, began to be challenged, imposing a strong disenchantment, because Science, which forced all to fit in a causal relationship, was impotent, leaving untouched the larger questions of life, which continued as a great mystery.
It is precisely this mystery that will seduce the philosophers and artists of the period, searching often in a supra-rational knowledge, this path is the heart (the heart has its reasons which reason knows) and will be soon, so many philosophers, intuition, or what, for a long time, has experienced the mystical.
The Main Features of Symbolism
The Symbolists give emphasis on mystical subjects, and subjective and imaginary and ignore the social issues that were addressed by the very Realism and Naturalism. The predominant features in Symbolism are:
The symbols have great interest in the particular and individual, leaving aside the overview. They have individualistic view, because the objective view arouses interest, and are focused on the individual point of view. Symbolist poetry opposes Parnassian poetry, but approaches the aesthetics of the Romantics, the Symbolists, but turn to than the heart, they seek the deeper I seek the dream, the unconscious. The work has Symbolist individualistic.
The Symbolist aesthetic has a lot of musicality. To have an approximation of poetry with music, symbolist left out some features, for example, the alliteration (systematic repetition of the same consonantal phoneme) and the assonance (repetition of vowel phonemes). Symbolist Aesthetics stands out for its musicality (poetry close to music).
The symbol is a basic principle suggested by the words without naming the elements of reality objectively, and placed great emphasis on fantasy and the imagination also. To interpret reality, to the Symbolists help of intuition and not logic or reason. The Symbolists prefer the indefinite or imprecise and vague. The productions of works of art Symbolism based on intuition, discarding logic and reason.
The symbolist art are certainly the most interesting among all styles, not just look at or listen to understand them. We need to reflect and think to understand its real meaning and its real intent.