This Essay copyright of Seumas Macdonald, 1997. May be reproduced freely if this Copyright notice is included. How might the symbolist movement be related to the idealist philosophies in literature



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This Essay copyright of Seumas Macdonald, 1997. May be reproduced freely if this Copyright notice is included.
HOW MIGHT THE SYMBOLIST MOVEMENT BE RELATED TO THE IDEALIST PHILOSOPHIES IN LITERATURE (BOTH CLASSICAL AND ROMANTIC) WHICH PRECEDED IT?
Symbolism is the poetic fulfillment of Metaphysical Idealism. The philosophical ideas that were developed in Plato, and found resurgence in the German Idealism that influenced the Symbolists, are the theoretical underpinning of the Symbolist Aesthetic. By examining this source, in Greek philosophy, the focus of Symbolism in suggesting the Ideal can be understood.

Romanticism, with its exultation of Imagination over Reason and rejection of the same sort of positivist philosophy as Symbolism later rejected, forms a loose, vague form of a precursor to Symbolism. In understanding the Romantics, gaining an appreciation of how Symbolism flowed out of, corrected and inherited their ideas and aesthetic, the marriage of Poetry with Idealism can better be understood.

As for the Symbolists themselves, this study concerns itself with the three central poets of French Symbolism only: Baudelaire, Rimbaud, & Mallarmé. In examining the contribution of each to Symbolist theory, it will be seen how this fulfillment of Idealism through poetry was brought about.


PLATO, ARISTOTLE & THE POET BANISHED

Having already claimed that Symbolism is the poetic fulfillment of idealist philosophy, it is fitting to return to the (traditional) Western source of idealist philosophy, that is Greek philosophy. Of all Greek Idealists, Plato stands alone as the fountain of the tradition, and it is to him that this investigation shall first turn towards.


Three of Plato’s writings form the focus in understanding his theory of idealism in relation to art: Ion, Phaedrus, and The Republic. In the first of these writings is the following:
“…For a poet is a thing light, and with wings, and sacred, and unable to compose poetry until he is inspired, and is out of his sober senses, and his imagination is no longer under his control.”1
The importance of this passage lies in two things. The poet is “inspired” and “sacred”, that is, they are accessing something not of the material world, but of the sacred world. This, in relation to Symbolism, is a direct denial of realist and naturalist views that poetry, and by extension all art, is the product purely of this world, and has nothing to do with being “inspired” or having “wings”.

Being “out of his sober senses” is an ancient echo to Rimbaud, for the disordering of the normal senses, the “sober senses”, allows for exercising of the poetic faculty, which is Imagination. The visionary artist does not control the vision, instead “his imagination is no longer under his control”.

Further on in the same section Plato states “that poets are nothing but interpreters of the gods”2. Extrapolating, poets interpret the divine, the non-mundane, and the vehicles of this interpretation are art works.

Theories of creative work can, rather inaccurately and arbitrarily, be divided up as either mimetic, interpretative or creative. The first involves purely the reproduction and representation of things as they are, and is at the heart of realist theories. The last postulates that artists are ‘original creators’, summoning new things from no-things. The middle concept, interpretation, is the one presented here in the Ion, and is one which will crystallize in importance in Symbolism.


Moving swiftly to the Phaedrus, where Plato speaks of the soul and its cycles, one finds him speaking of those souls which have ‘fallen’ from the state of apprehending his triumvirate of Forms: the True, the Beautiful and the Good. Here is revealed the state of poetry in Plato’s time, for he says first that “the soul which has seen most of truth shall come to birth as a philosopher, or artist”3. By implication, apprehension of the realm of the Forms is obtainable either by the exercise of pure Reason, the philosopher’s way, or Imagination, the artist’s way. These two faculties come to be opposed in later times, but here are presented somewhat as alternatives.

Bewildering to first time readers is the ranking “to the sixth the character of a poet or some other imitative artist”4. It becomes clear that the poets of Plato’s time concern themselves with imitative art, and particularly of narratives and dramas, as Aristotle speaks of in the Poetics.


Diverging here to Aristotle will allow a fuller apprehension of the views propounded in The Republic. Within the introduction to The Poetics, Aristotle claims that “epic and tragic poetry…can all be described in general terms as forms of imitation or representation”5, leading straight back to those aforementioned theories of mimetic art. He goes on to say that “imitative artists represent men in action”6; poetry is hence concerned with the narrative, which is the telling of a story, or drama, which is the evocation of a story.

However, he later goes on, in Chapter Nine: Poetical Truth and Historical Truth, to state that “the [poet tells] of the kinds of things that might happen” and that “poetry is concerned with universal truths”7. Understanding this in context, Aristotle is claiming that where mere history concerns with telling things that have happened, and with specific, contextualised truths, poetry is free to universalize and create stories of things that might happen, representing men in action under laws of universal behaviour and possibility.


If the poetry of Ancient Greece has been concerned with imitation, narrative and dramatic, and the representation of men in action, then Plato is more than justified in his banishment of poets from his Republic. If one man is to play one part only, there can be no room for imitation, which gives room to the two-fold, not the singular.

One person does not play one part only however, and such a simplification needs to be seen in the context of relating the State to the Self, where one part of the Self is probably quite acceptable in playing one part only.

More crucial to the argument here is Book Ten, which deals with Plato’s theory of art. The line of his argument, paraphrased crudely, is that there is the Form, such as “one real bed-in-itself in nature”8, the thing, such as the bed that a carpenter might make, and a third thing, the painting or image of the bed, such as artists are given to make; art then is third removed from the Real, and of such little value to the soul in search of the Real as to be dust: as he says, “the tragic poet, if his art is representation, is by nature at third remove from the throne of truth; and the same is true of all other representative artists.”9 It is even further removed though, in that the representation is not of an actual bed or some such thing, but only the image, the sensual apparition of the bed.

Furthermore, not content to rest here, Plato explains that art appeals to the lower and less rational part of the soul, and that in representing things not morally acceptable in one’s own character but well admired in art corrupts the self. These are the charges of Plato, all leveled against the imitative arts. It is partly in answer to this that Symbolism will arise.


THE ROMANTICS: BLAKE THE VISIONARY AND SHELLEY THE PRIEST
Wilson, in speaking of Symbolism, says “the movement of which in our own day we are witnessing the mature development is not merely a degeneration or an elaboration of Romanticism, but rather a counterpart to it, a second flood of the same tide”10. If Symbolism and Romanticism are linked in this way, it is obvious that some investigation of Romanticism will shed much light on Symbolism.
Blake, widely regarded as a visionary poet, has often been tagged as ‘the first symbolist’. To some extent this is true, but he is more the visionary, and a precursor to Symbolism rather than a ‘Symbolist-out-of-time’. Of the things that mark Blake as important, Brennan states it clearly when saying, “he is not so much a poet and painter importing mysticism into art as a mystic conquering, for his ideas, the hitherto neglected fields of art”11. What he does is to build in his poetry various symbols, without the sort of grounding in tradition as someone like Yeats has, and use these symbols to convey the essence of his mystical visions. The word ‘essence’ here is not used in its later, stricter meaning as found in writings on Mallarmé, but in a more vulgar terminology as the core, the heart, of meaning.

Considering metaphor as the natural mode of communication for the mind in language, Blake does not go so far as the later Symbolists ‘proper’, in that the devolution from simile to metaphor to pure symbol is somewhat incomplete. He does however succeed in breaking from the extravagant and seemingly indulgent modes of Romanticism as a whole, turning to the vision, not to drowning in emotion and sentimentality as others of the time did.

The second element that sets Blake apart from the later Symbolists is that Blake, while holding that there can be various levels of vision, there is only one world, not two; no ‘as above, so below’, but one Reality. This form of mysticism, while not really contradictory to the idealism of symbolism, does contrast with what could be termed the ‘approach’ to the Absolute.
Having briefly canvassed Blake, perhaps unjustly in such a small space, Shelley’s critical text A Defence of Poetry provides a different precursor to the Symbolist foundations. Reason and Imagination came into conflict at the time of Romanticism; not that the ‘war’ had not raged before, but that Romanticism highlighted the conflict, overthrowing the former in a sort of literary revolution. Imagination was declared supreme, and the Romantics gave it free rein in their search for experiences.

Shelley distinguishes them thus: Reason concerns itself with analysis, and its “action regards the relations of things, simply as relations”12; Imagination concerns itself with synthesis, and “has for its objects those forms which are common to universal nature and existence itself”13. The result of this is that “Reason is to Imagination…as the shadow to the substance”14.

While it can be well argued that the Romantic dismissal of Reason is extreme and unjustified, the concern here raised is the importance of restoring the Imagination as a path to the realm of Forms, to the divine. Shelley continues with the claim that “Poets…were called in the earlier epochs of the world…prophets”15; he also marries their role to legislation, but that is aside the point. Prophecy, not in the vulgar sense of precognition and divination, but in the sense of those with access to visions of divinity, “A Poet participates in the eternal, the infinite, and the one”16; it is this conception of ‘poet-as-prophet’ that will return as a central element in Symbolism.
Symbolism can well be regarded as a correction of Romanticism, though not a perfect one in itself. Wilson makes two accurate points on this subject: with regard to Poe, so critical to the development of Baudelaire:
“Poe’s critical writings…formulated what amounted to a new literary programme which had corrected the Romantic looseness and lopped away

the Romantic extravagance, at the same time that it aimed, not at Naturalistic,

but at ultra-Romantic effects”17
While the idea that Poe developed some ‘literary programme’ is highly questionable, his influence (directly) on Baudelaire and Mallarmé, and indirectly on the other French Symbolists certainly set the stage and filled it with props for the sort of ‘correction’ that Wilson is speaking about.

Less complimentary (to Symbolism) is the later comparison of Wilson’s, where when contrasting the paths of Axel and Rimbaud, he comes to the conclusion that Romanticism was intimately associated with the assertion of the Individual in society, while Symbolism led to the detachment of the Individual into solitude.


SYMBOLISM: THE POETIC STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
Symbolism is, essentially, an attempt to bridge the gap between one world and another. These worlds are this, physical and material, world, and the divine, the ideal, the other, world. The method for this is two-fold: suggestion and correspondence. Correspondence allows the use of language to create images and concepts of things within this world, linked to those of the other; suggestion allows these symbolic constructs to hang ethereally somewhere between the carpenter’s bed and the Form of the bed.

Again, Symbolism is the reintegration of the poet, the prophet and the musician. The clearest example from antiquity lies with the Celtic tradition: bards were trained in versification, in music, and in mystical and religious lore; Symbolism is the reintegration of these roles; perhaps the major difference lies in the poetic area, for Symbolism was intimately involved with breaking strict formality, and was a moving force in the introduction of vers libre to modern poetry; whereas in the Bardic traditions verse was so precise and formulated that musicality was not so much a virtue of the composer and their composition but of the forms used.

Since the thrust of this essay is on Symbolism as the poetic fulfillment of Metaphysical Idealism, this section shall consider how it attempts to do this, both in general and within the works of specific artists, namely Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarmé.
BAUDELAIRE: THE GABRIEL’S TRUMPET OF SYMBOLISM
Baudelaire is generally considered to be the first major symbolist poet in France, and to him is credited the theory of correspondences. It seems almost redundant to dwell on this, or to explain it, but for completeness it shall be done. The poetic exposition of this theory lies in a poem that is not really a ‘Symbolist’ poem, Correspondances:
La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers

Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;

L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles

Qui l’observant avec des regards familiers.


Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent

Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,

Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,

Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.18


These first two stanzas versify what is elsewhere elaborated in prose by Baudelaire:
The whole visible universe is but a storehouse of images and signs to which

the imagination will give a relative place and value; it is a sort of pasture

which the imagination must digest and transform. All the faculties of the

human soul must be subordinated to the imagination, which puts them in

requisition all at once.19
Hence, the Imagination, already exulted by the Romantics, is the faculty of the soul which interprets, transforms, comprehends the symbols in nature so as to understand, and communicate, the other world, the realm of Ideas.

These correspondences go beyond mere images and ideas, for every sense is involved, and the latter two stanzas, unquoted here, dwell on the scents. Also beyond the mere vertical correspondence inherited primarily from Swedenborg are the horizontal correspondences, ie. the correspondence across the level of this world from one physico-material thing to another. This second set of correspondence leads Chadwick in his introductory work to Symbolism to distinguish between ‘transcendental symbolism’ and ‘human symbolism’.20

The question remains though, how it is that the poet, of all people, has the power to create art that will bridge the two worlds. While the theory of correspondences sets up a partial method, a tool if you will, the crucial essence to invoke this method lies elsewhere. For Baudelaire, in his dualist worldview (which isn’t an entirely true characterisation of it, nor is it a consistent dualist worldview anyway, since it ventures close to divine immanence), it lies in the nature of the poet, as typified in the last stanza of L’Albatros (another not-so-Symbolist poem):
Le Poète est semblable au prince des nuées

Qui hante la tempête et se rit de l’archer;

Exilé sur le sol au milieu des huées,

Ses ailes de géant l’empêchent de marcher.


(The Poet shares the fate of this prince of the clouds, who rejoices in the tempest and mocks the archer down below: exiled on earth, an object of scorn, his giant wings impede him as he walks.)21
This exile certainly is “the soul which has seen most of truth [and has] come to birth as a philosopher, or artist”. Fallen from the perception of the Forms, the “prince of clouds” seeks to recreate in poetry the vision of the divine.
As a final comment on Baudelaire, a point which will have relevance later: in his exultation of the grotesque, there is an element (well, a bit more than just an ‘element’) of mysticism via negativa. Having rejected the positivism of the Age’s philosophy, the traditions of the Church, and detached the Individual into solitude, it is the obvious path for a Symbolist mystic; this exultation of the grotesque though, is nothing degenerate, for in that exemplar tradition of Yin-mysticism, Daoism, Zhuangzi says, speaking of the Dao, “It’s in shit and piss too”22.
RIMBAUD: VOYANT AND TAIBHSEAR
As for Rimbaud, his great contribution to what can be only loosely termed the ‘Symbolist theory of Writing’ revolves around the voyant. To the actual artistry of Symbolist poetry, he broke the bonds of form, without sacrificing the musicality that is integral to the Symbolist tradition. It is to the first of these two that the bulk of this examination of Rimbaud shall concern itself with, since an investigation of form and music is far beyond the scope of this essay.

Rimbaud writes, in one of ‘Les Lettres du Voyant’, “Now I am going in for debauch. Why? I want to be a poet, and I am working to make myself a visionary… To arrive at the unknown through the disordering of all the senses, that’s the point”23 and in the second of these letters, to Paul Demeny, “One must, I say, be a visionary, make oneself a visionary. The poet makes himself a visionary through a long, a prodigious and rational disordering of all the senses”24.

Taibhsear is a Scottish-Gaelic word, meaning generally “poet-seer”, although defined as “taibhsear, -eir, -an, s.m. Visionary, one who possesses the faculty of second sight”25. As the combination of seer and poet seems to be Rimbaud’s aim, it is fitting to again relate this to the ancient Celtic traditions; though radically removed in theory, practice, time and culture, the Symbolist and the Bard seem remarkably similar in intention.

The disordering of all the senses is the way to attain this, Rimbaud claims, but it remains to be seen exactly why this should, would or is so. Perhaps a clarification of this will come from borrowing a leaf from existential and phenomenological philosophy: one experiences the world as a body, an active subject, in the world; immersed in the body, in the senses, any hope of apprehending the other world lies in a deliberate, a rational, shift in this experience. To see not just a ‘tree’, but the symbol which the tree is, to see not factories. but mosques, to become a visionary, is to have oneself in a state ‘out-of-phase’ with the physico-material world.

It is not necessary then to be knocked unconscious and have bizarre dreams, only to look and see in a particular way, a visionary-in-the-world way. This disordering of the senses then gives free reign to the Imagination.
“JE est un autre” – perhaps the most perplexing thing Rimbaud ever wrote, including his poetry. Noveski says of this, “Rimbaud is not the I who writes the poems, he is apart, the poems are apart”26, yet it is plain that Rimbaud writes the poems, in some sense of the word. This possibly recedes right back to Plato’s Ion, with the poet possessed, and precedes into Mallarmé, emptying the mind, reflecting the void, and waiting to be filled with the poem divine. However, Mallarmé quite pointedly denies the ‘possesion’ theory of poetic creation, and focuses on a more methodical, attentive and conscious approach, dismissing the ‘inspired frenzy’, mirroring Poe, as mere egotism and/or an alluring fancy of poets through the ages. This emptied mind is not possessed, but rather alert and clear, waiting for the poem to crystallize inside itself, slowly and surely being molded into the gem.

Looking at the context of the quotation, Rimbaud continues with “So much the worse for the wood that discovers it’s a violin”27. The wood is the violin, but now it is transformed, from being ‘just wood’ to wood-in-violin. Perhaps the poet is also transformed, from being ‘just poet’ to poet-in-seer; retaining the vital ‘poet’ essence, yet in the form of seer. This also echoes the later modernist concept (though it never originated there) that the poem is created, but separates from the creator: the extinction of personality in the poem, not by some false objectivity but by the nature of the art, a view that finds its expression in Eliot’s “Tradition and the Individual Talent”.

Ultimately “I is an other” is as much a symbolist poem as anything of Rimbaud’s. It is perhaps pointless or impossible to demystify it, as Brennan says, “he who tracks beauty to its lair finds mystery, and he who will sing essential beauty must sing mysteriously.”28
MALLARM: THE HIEROPHANT
Widely, and rightfully, regarded as the Master, the High Priest, the insert suitable title here of Symbolism, Mallarmé came to the most complete exposition of Symbolist theory, as well as the most complete and successful enaction of that theory. Conversely, there is the least to be said about him here; Mallarmé left no Correspondances, no Les Lettres du Voyant, and only the most polished and difficult of works. Of his Tuesday evening gatherings, no comprehensive record remains of what was said, and to construct an understanding of Mallarmé’s poetics involves an understanding of practically all his works, poetic and prose, the latter which are not readily available in translation.

What can be said of Mallarmé is this: with the correspondences of Baudelaire, with the suggestiveness traced back to Poe, and with a mastery of language which redefined its use, Mallarmé began to comprehend the Ideal in art; after beginning with the statement that Symbolism was the poetic fulfillment of Metaphysical Idealism, here is arrived that fulfillment, the Poet-Prophet.

Brennan says of him:
“The leading idea of all Mallarmé’s poetry, written or unwritten, the ground

idea of all poetry, was humorously expressed by him in conversation thus:

‘You can’t get along without Eden.’ Eden must be realized in art, apart from

life”29


This Eden, this Ideal, is the necessity of the divine to life, yet manifested in art. Without Eden there is nothing but materialism, something empty and meaningless to the Symbolists. Mallarmé was questing beyond this physico-material world, and what he first found was that “beyond the real world there lies nothing but an empty void…le Néant”30. This void, and the poet’s journey into it, is the mystical descent, St. John of the Cross’s “dark night of the soul”, and represents mysticism via negativa. It also embodies the negative aspect of the Absolute, the Yin of the Tao; in Chinese the absolute is often referred to as ‘not-two’, it is the resolution of all dualities, and any single affirmation of annihilation of this becomes a duality in itself; Le Néant is this negative aspect.

“[T]he ideal world lies hidden in the empty void, that ‘l’infini’ is contained within ‘le néant’”31. This second quotation from Chadwick insufficiently relates the position of Brahmin to Nirvana; one is not contained with the other, the are two aspects which are not-two. It is this not-two, rather than Chadwick’s mere ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, at which Mallarmé arrives, but in art not life.


“The book or the poem is for Mallarmé the book of magic, the grimoire32, ie. that the actual ‘thing’ of a poem is a key, a ritual, giving access to the ideal. Once detached from the poet, the poem becomes unchanging, fixed, and it is in this unchanging precision, as in the exact precision of a ritual, that the key lies. The poem is not a representation of a flower, for this is mere mimesis, nor an actual flower, nor is it a representation of the Form of a flower, for that is impossible. It is instead, through the symbol of an imagined flower, the suggestion, the evocation, of the Form of the flower, the realm of the Idea, Brennan’s Eden.

This esoteric idea of the ritual is also found in Lehmann:


“the practitioner of a world of ‘Ideas’, whatever these may be, is indulging in

an activity which demands a high degree of mental discipline, and is therefore

not immediately accessible to the majority of people. The poet is, in fact, a

specialist in a difficult technique, and his art thus becomes a rite, almost an

esoteric practice”33
Where Lehmann halts at “almost”, many less aggressive critics would go beyond. The combination of the esoteric and, especially in the France of the time, the occult, with poetry, becomes a mentally rigorous practice; it is not the out-of-oneself from Plato’s Ion, but the rational disordering of the senses, through rite and ritual, a conscious and demanding path to access the divine, not the overwhelming throes of Romantic indulgences.
SYMBOLISM: THE BARD REBORN
Throughout this essay the concern has been to show how Symbolism attempts to fulfill in art what Idealism has given to Reason. It should now be clear that Symbolism draws together various elements roughly congruent to those once present in the Bardic tradition: as keepers of esoteric lore, as priests – a concept echoed in Baudelaire’s correspondences; as visionaries, apprehenders of a reality intricately linked but integrally distinct – in Rimbaud’s voyant; as the complete poet, who masters all the intricacies of language and its attendant arts so as to suggest, through the symbol, the realm of Eden – Mallarmé’s religion of poetry.

The relation of Symbolism to both Classical Idealism and Romanticism then becomes apparent. Where Classical Idealism tended to be dismissive of poetry, as an imitative art, and proclaimed that the Ideals could only be comprehended through the exercision of pure Reason, Symbolism defied the practice of mimesis, and worked to create in poetry an art of interpretation, one that would not represent things as they are, or appear, nor as they are in Forms, but a hazy window between the two, using correspondences to evoke with one imagined flower the one true flower.

Where Romanticism gave the Imagination free reign and exulted in its indulgence, Symbolism cut away the slack – shaving off the extravagant and superfluous, focusing intently on the effect of poetry rather than the object, turning it to the Ideal rather than the purely subjective and emotional themes of some of the lesser Romantics, and turning the scattered vision into essences, even into the quintessential symbols.

Symbolism, while it never got over fighting positivism on its own ground philosophically, embodies the Idealist revolution. It transforms poetry, and art in general, into a medium to divinity, and in doing so becomes elitist, since only the mentally rigorous or masochistic will seek to enter through Nerval’s “ivory gates”, while the minds not so inclined will conclude it either too difficult, or set about (attempting, at the least) deconstructing the art so as to leave nothing in it.

Symbolism remains, despite this, the poetic fulfillment of Metaphysical Idealism.
A Complete Reference List of All the Texts Consulted for this Essay

Only partially incomplete where references came from the Course Readers
Adams, H. Philosophy of the Literary Symbolic. University Presses of Florida, Florida, 1983.
Aristotle, The Poetics
Baudelaire, Charles (ed., tr., Scarfe, F.) Baudelaire: The Complete Verse. Anvil Press Poetry, London,

1986.
Brennan, C. (ed. Sturm, T) Christopher Brennan. University of Queensland Press, Melbourne, 1984.


Chadwick, C. Symbolism., Metheun & Co. Ltd., London, 1941.
Dwelley, E. The Illustrated Gaelic-English Dictionary. Gairm Publications, Glasgow, 1994.
Fowlie, W. Mallarmé. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago & London, 1970.
Eliot, T.S. “Tradition and the Individual Talent”
Lawler, J.B. The Language of French Symbolism. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1969.
Lao-Tzu. (tr. Wu, J.C.H.) Tao Teh Ching. Shambhala, Boston & London, 1989.
Lehmann, A.G. The Symbolist Aesthetic in France 1885-1895. Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1968.
Mallarmé, S. (tr. Bosley, K.) The Poems. Penguin Books, Great Britain, 1977.
Matthews, C. & J. The Encyclopædia of Celtic Wisdom. Element, Brisbane, 1994.
Noveski, P. Private Correspondence.
Palmer, M. The Book of Chuang Tzu. Arkana, Great Britain, 1996.
Plato, Ion
Plato, Phaedrus
Plato, The Republic
Poe, E.A. “The Philosophy of Composition” Complete Poetry and Selected Criticism. The New American Library, The New English Library.
Rimbaud, Arthur (tr. Varèse, L.) Illuminations and Other Prose Poems. New Directions Press, Canada, 1957.
Rimbaud, Arthur (tr. Peschel, E.R.) A Season in Hell The Illuminations. Oxford University Press, New York, 1973.
Shelley, (ed. Reiman, D.H.) Shelley’s Poetry and Prose. Norton, London.
Turnell, Martin Baudelaire: A Study of his Poetry. New Directions Press, Canada, 1972.
Valéry, Paul Selected Writings. New Directions Press, 1964.
Vlasopolos, A. The symbolic method of Coleridge, Baudelaire, and Yeats. Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 1983.
Wilson, E. Axel’s Castle. The Fontana Library, London, 1962.


1 Plato, Ion, §5: 32-35

2 ibid, §5: 42

3 Plato, Phaedrus

4 ibid.

5 Aristotle, The Poetics

6 ibid.

7 ibid.

8 Plato, The Republic, 597b.

9 ibid., 597e.

10 Wilson, E. Axel’s Castle. The Fontana Library, London, 1962. p9.

11 Brennan, C. (ed. Sturm, T) Christopher Brennan. “Symbolism in Nineteenth Century Literature” University of Queensland Press, Melbourne, 1984. p262.

12 Shelley, (ed. Reiman, D.H.) Shelley’s Poetry and Prose. Norton, London.

13 ibid.

14 ibid.

15 ibid.

16 ibid.

17 Wilson, op cit. p17

18 Baudelaire, Charles (ed., tr., Scarfe, F.) Baudelaire: The Complete Verse. Anvil Press Poetry, London, 1986.

19 “The Salon of 1859” The Mirror of Art: Critical Studies by Charles Baudelaire, tr. Mayne, J., p239, cited in Adams, H. Philosophy of the Literary Symbolic. University Presses of Florida, Florida, 1983. p 119.

20 Chadwick, C. Symbolism., Metheun & Co. Ltd., London, 1941.

21 Baudelaire, op cit..

22 Palmer, M. The Book of Chuang Tzu. Arkana, Great Britain, 1996. p193.

23 Rimbaud, Arthur (tr. Varèse, L.) Illuminations and Other Prose Poems. New Directions Press, Canada, 1957. p xxvii.

24 ibid., p xxx.

25 Dwelley, E. The Illustrated Gaelic-English Dictionary. Gairm Publications, Glasgow, 1994.

26 Noveski, P. Private Correspondence

27 Rimbaud, op cit. p xxxvii.

28 Brennan, op cit. “Newer French Poetry” p211.

29 Brennan, op cit. “Newer French Poetry” p208.

30 Chadwick, op cit. p35.

31 ibid.

32 Fowlie, W. Mallarmé. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago & London, 1970. p231.

33 Lehmann, A.G. The Symbolist Aesthetic in France 1885-1895. Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1968. p64


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