Moréas’s Manifesto of Symbolism (1886)

Moréas, Jean (1856–1910), translated by Kline, A. S. (contact-email)

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Jean Moréas, a Greek poet, authored his Manifesto of Symbolism in 1886. Published in Le Figaro, the manifesto delineated Symbolism as a movement countering Naturalism and Realism in literature, advocating for the primacy of suggestion and nuance over direct description and the explicit representation of reality. Moréas argued for art’s intrinsic value and its ability to evoke the ineffable, suggesting that the symbolists’ goal was to express the ideal through symbolic, often mystical language. This document marked a pivotal moment in the evolution of French literature, laying the groundwork for subsequent avant-garde movements.

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Kline, A. S.

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