Arthur Symons, The Symbolist Movement in Literature

James Dowthwaite (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)
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It would not be an exaggeration to describe Arthur Symons as the mediator of Francophone symbolism for the English speakers of his generation, and the generation that followed him.

The Symbolist Movement in Literature

is the central reason for this reputation


Edmond Gosse called it “the finest product of pure criticism which has been seen in England in years” and hailed Symons as “the best English critic since Pater” (Gosse, in Symons,


147). Twenty years later, T. S. Eliot would describe his first encounter with it as “an introduction to wholly new feelings, as a revelation”. Despite certain demerits in individual interpretations, Eliot considered him the central introduction to French symbolism (Eliot,

The Sacred Wood

5). Aside from his writing on the topic, Symons…

4113 words

Citation: Dowthwaite, James. "The Symbolist Movement in Literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 October 2023 [, accessed 25 July 2024.]

39161 The Symbolist Movement in Literature 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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