Parnassian

Parnassianism, Parnassism, n.
/pahr nas"ee euhn/, adj.
1. pertaining to Mount Parnassus.
2. pertaining to poetry.
3. of, pertaining to, or noting a school of French poets of the latter half of the 19th century, characterized chiefly by a belief in art for art's sake, by an emphasis on metrical form, and by the repression of emotive elements: so called from Le Parnasse Contemporain, the title of their first collection of poems, published in 1866.
n.
4. a member of the Parnassian school of French poets.
[1635-45; < L Parnassi(us) of PARNASSUS + -AN]

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Members of a French school of poetry of the second half of the 19th century that was headed by Charles-Marie-Rene Leconte de Lisle (1818–94) and Théophile Gautier.

The Parnassians stressed restraint, objectivity, technical perfection, and precise description as a reaction against the emotionalism and verbal excess of Romanticism. Their name came from the anthology to which they contributed, Le Parnasse contemporain (1866, 1871, 1876). Their influence was evident in movements such as Modernismo and led to experimentation in metres and verse forms and the revival of the sonnet.

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French  Parnassien  

      member of a group—headed by Charles-Marie-René Leconte de Lisle (Leconte de Lisle, Charles-Marie-René)—of 19th-century French poets who stressed restraint, objectivity, technical perfection, and precise description as a reaction against the emotionalism and verbal imprecision of the Romantics.

 The poetic movement led by the Parnassians that resulted in experimentation with metres and verse forms and the revival of the sonnet paralleled the trend toward realism in drama and the novel that became evident in the late 19th century. Initially taking their themes from contemporary society, the Parnassians later turned to the mythology, epics, and sagas of exotic lands and past civilizations, notably India and ancient Greece. The Parnassians derived their name from the anthology to which they contributed: Le Parnasse Contemporain (3 vol., 1866, 1871, 1876), edited by Louis-Xavier de Ricard and Catulle Mendès (Mendès, Catulle) and published by Alphonse Lemerre. Their principles, though, had been formulated earlier in Théophile Gautier (Gautier, Théophile)'s preface to Mademoiselle de Maupin (1835), which expounded the theory of art for art's sake, in Leconte de Lisle's preface to his Poèmes antiques (1852), and in La Revue Fantaisiste (1860), founded by Mendès. Gautier's Émaux et camées (1852), a collection of carefully constructed, formally perfect poems, pointed to a new conception of poetry and influenced the works of major Parnassians such as Albert-Alexandre Glatigny (Glatigny, Albert-Alexandre), Théodore de Banville (Banville, Théodore de), François Coppée (Coppée, François), Léon Dierx, and José Maria de Heredia (Heredia, José Maria de). Heredia, the most representative of the group, looked for precise details, double rhymes, sonorous words, and exotic names, and concentrated on making the 14th line of his sonnets the most striking.

      The influence of the Parnassians was felt throughout Europe and was particularly evident in the Modernist movement of Spain and Portugal and in the Jeune Belgique (“Young Belgium”) movement (see La Jeune Belgique (Jeune Belgique, La)). Many former Parnassians became part of the Symbolist movement in the late 19th century.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Parnassian — Par*nas sian, n. [F. parnassien.] One of a school of French poets of the Second Empire (1852 70) who emphasized metrical form and made little use of emotion as poetic material; so called from the name (Parnasse contemporain) of the volume in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Parnassian — Par*nas sian, a. [L. Parnassius.] Of or pertaining to Parnassus. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Parnassian — Par*nas sian, n. [See {Parnassus}.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of numerous species of butterflies belonging to the genus {Parnassius}. They inhabit the mountains, both in the Old World and in America. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Parnassian — [pär nas′ē ən] adj. [L Parnassius] 1. of Mount Parnassus 2. of the art of poetry 3. of the Parnassians n. [Fr parnassien, after Le Parnasse contemporain, title of their first collection (1866)] a member of a school of 19th cent. French poets… …   English World dictionary

  • Parnassian — adjective Date: 1629 1. [Latin parnassius of Parnassus, from Greek parnasios, from Parnasos Parnassus, mountain in Greece sacred to Apollo and the Muses] of or relating to poetry 2. [French parnassien, from Parnasse Parnassus; from Le Parnasse… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Parnassian — Par•nas•si•an [[t]pɑrˈnæs i ən[/t]] adj. 1) geg pertaining to Mount Parnassus 2) lit. pertaining to poetry 3) lit. pertaining to or noting a school of French poets of the late 19th century who emphasized form over emotion 4) lit. a poet of the… …   From formal English to slang

  • Parnassian — /paˈnæsiən/ (say pah naseeuhn) adjective 1. relating to Mount Parnassus. 2. relating to poetry. 3. denoting or relating to a school of French poets, of the latter half of the 19th century, characterised especially by emphasis of form and by… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Parnassian — adj. of or pertaining to the Greek mountain Parnassus; of or pertaining to poetic works; poetic; of or pertaining to the 19th century French school of poets n. poet of the 19th century French school of classical poets who made little use of… …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Parnassian — [pα: nasɪən] adjective 1》 relating to poetry; poetic. 2》 denoting a group of French poets who emphasized strictness of form, named from the anthology Le Parnasse contemporain (1866) …   English new terms dictionary

  • parnassian — par·nas·sian …   English syllables

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